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Sinéad O'Connor Says She 'Failed' Her 17-Year-Old Son After He Dies By Suicide

Photo: Matteo Chinellato / Shutterstock / Twitter
Sinead O'Connor, Shane O'Connor

Sinéad O'Connor has undergone one of the worst pains that any human being could possibly endure. That of a parent that has lost a child — and she blames herself.

O'Connor’s son, Shane, was tragically found dead last weekend in a death that has been declared a suicide.

Shane, had been missing since January 6th, 2022. Police found Shane’s body on Friday, January 7, and O'Connor confirmed his identity not long after.

O'Connor is now experiencing some of the worst pain and grief any person possibly could. She wrote in a tweet following the discovery of Shane’s body, “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. May he rest in peace and may no one follow his example. My baby. I love you so much. Please be at peace”

After Shane died by suicide there was an outpouring of support for the singer-songwriter. O'Connor has lashed out following the death of her son, primarily on Twitter as she seeks answers in a series of now mostly deleted tweets.

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Sinéad O'Connor blames herself and the Irish state for her son's death by suicide.

In the since-deleted tweets O'Connor railed against Ireland's government agencies and child protective services who she says were supposed to be watching her son. 

“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 refering to the child and family agency, Tusla.

"I was informed by Gardai [Irish police] of my son’s death and later I spoke with the GAL. No contact from Tusla is unacceptable.”

O’Connor clarified that her anger was with the greater Irish state after identifying her son, saying “I have now formally identified the remains of my son, Shane. May God forgive the Irish State for I never will.”

O’Connor’s Twitter crusade against the systems that she believed had failed her son lasted for hours in the immediate aftermath of his death.

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Since then, the singer has deleted most of those tweets and most recently posted an apology, stating in a pinned tweet, “Ok, I’m gonna do the right thing here and apologise for my lashing out. Tusla are working with very limited resources. They loved Shane. They are broken hearted. They are human. I am sorry I have upset them.  We are a third world country. It’s not their fault.”

Sinéad O'Connor also seems to blame herself for her son's death.

O’Connor turned her frustrations on herself at one point, saying, “FYI please don’t imagine I am less than keenly aware I failed my child, alongside Tusla and the HSE and the Irish State. And alongside others in his life who shall forever remain publicly nameless. We all know who we are. We all failed him. Welcome to Ireland.”

Clinical Hypnotherapist and Spiritual Life Coach Keya Murthy writes of Sinéad O'Connor’s behavior following the loss of her son, “Blame is an expression of anger. Anger is how we process grief. First, you deny it and then you get angry at it. When you are in this anger stage of grief, you never know who it will be directed to.”

Keya Murthy also writes on the magnitude of the pain and loss that Sinéad is experiencing, “While trying to analyze Sinéad’s reactions, we forget she’s a human, a woman, and a mother… No one can say what she is going through unless they are a mother right here and now going through the same grief of losing a seventeen-year-old son to suicide.”

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please seek help or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

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Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics, and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.

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