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Sinéad O’Connor Announces That Her Missing Teen Son Has Died

The grieving singer also criticized the Irish child protection agency.

Sinéad O’Connor, the influential Irish singer with a string of hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s, announced Friday on Twitter that her 17-year-old son Shane had died by suicide. Earlier in the week, she had posted that he had gone missing. The Guardian confirmed his death with police.

“My beautiful son, Nevi’im Nesta Ali Shane O’Connor, the very light of my life, decided to end his earthly struggle today and is now with God,” she wrote. “May he rest in peace and may no one follow his example. My baby. I love you so much. Please be at peace.”

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Though O’Connor’s handle is unverified by Twitter, her “official” account linked to the new account in late 2021 and suggested fans follow her there, too.

Shane’s father was Irish musician Dónal Lunny. He was the pair’s only child. O’Connor had two children before Shane and one after.

O’Connor, who changed her legal name to Shuhada Sadaqat in 2018, issued tweets before and after the announcement, criticizing different state services.

“26 hours after my son died in the so called care of the Irish State in the form of Tusla, I have yet to receive any contact from Tusla or their representatives,” she wrote. “I was informed by Gardai of my son’s death and later I spoke with the GAL. No contact from Tusla is unacceptable.”

The Child and Family agency Tusla, as per its website, is “the dedicated State agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children.” Gardai refers to Ireland’s national police service. 

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Two days ago, O’Connor took to Twitter, upset at what she perceived as lax care at a hospital. (“Lynn Ward,” though it could be mistaken for a person’s name, is a section of Tallaght University Hospital in Dublin.)

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Earlier messages in O’Connor’s timeline include heartbreaking pleas for her son to reach out to her and a link to the song “Ride Natty Ride” from the Bob Marley and the Wailers album Survival, dedicated to “my Shaney.”

Lifeline, a suicide prevention hotline in the United States, can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.

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