The final photograph of Sinead O’Connor’s 17-year-old son just one day before he died has been released by detectives after his heartbroken mother said he had ‘decided to end his earthly struggle’.
The Irish singer, 55, took to Twitter on Saturday as she confirmed the devastating news, giving a touching tribute to her ‘beautiful’ son Shane, who she shares with her ex, folk singer Donal Lunny.
Shane was reported missing on Thursday and the following day, Gardai detectives released what is believed to be the final photograph of Shane, when he was last seen in Tallaght, South Dublin, on Friday morning.
In the picture, which part of a renewed police appeal to find Shane, he is seen wearing a black hoodie with a colourful print design, dark tracksuit bottoms, a plum coloured T-shirt and white trainers.
It comes after Sinead, who changed her name to Shuhada’ Davitt in 2018, paid tribute to her ‘beautiful’ son on Saturday, taking to Twitter to tell fans that Shane had ‘decided to end his earthly struggle’.
In a devastating tweet, she wrote: ‘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:’
Shane was one of Sinead’s four children – Jake Reynolds, Roisin Waters and Yeshua Francis Neil Bonadio.
Shane was reported missing on Thursday and the following day, Gardai detectives released what is believed to be the last photograph of Shane (pictured), as he was last seen in Tallaght, South Dublin, on Friday morning
Taking to Twitter on Saturday, Sinead O’Connor confirmed that her 17-year-old son Shane (pictured) died, just two days after he was reported missing, saying he had ‘decided to end his earthly struggle’
The Irish singer (pictured in 2019), 55, paid tribute to her ‘beautiful’ son Shane, who she shares with her ex folk singer Donal Lunny, on Twitter as she confirmed the news
Sinead had her son Shane with Irish folk musician Donal Lunny (both pictured) and the pair split shortly after Shane’s arrival
Sinead also tweeted a Bob Marley song which she dedicated to Shane, heartbreakingly describing her son as her ‘blue-eye baby’ and the ‘light of my life’.
Sinead’s children, their fathers and her husbands
– JAKE REYNOLDS, 35
FATHER: Music producer John Reynolds, who she married in 1987, before splitting in 1991
– ROISIN WALTERS, 25
FATHER: Journalist John Waters. Sinead never lived with John and they fought for custody of their daughter before it was decided she would live with him in Dublin.
– SHANE LUNNY, 17
FATHER: Musician Donal Lunny. Sinead split with Donal shortly after Shane’s arrival
– YESHUA FRANCIS NEIL BONADIO, 15
FATHER: American businessman Frank Bonadio. She split from Frank in 2007, a year after Yeshua’s birth.
MARRIED: John Reynolds
MARRIED: Nick Sommerlad
MARRIED: Steve Cooney
MARRIED: Barry Herridge
2011-Split days later
She penned: ‘This is for my Shaney. The light of my life. The lamp of my soul. My blue-eye baby. You will always be my light. We will always be together. No boundary can separate us.’
Shane went missing earlier this week and was last seen in Tallaght, South Dublin, on Friday, with Gardai launching an appeal to find the teenager. The police force reportedly confirmed on Saturday that the search for Shane had been ‘stood down’.
Taking to social media after Shane went missing, Sinead threatened Tallaght Hospital with a lawsuit if ‘anything happens to my son’, alleging that her son went missing from the hospital while on suicide watch.
Gardai renewed their appeal for assistance in tracing the whereabouts of Shane on Friday, writing: ‘Shane was last seen this [Friday] morning in the Tallaght, Dublin 24 area. Shane is described as being 5′ 6’ in height with short brown hair and blue eyes.
‘When last seen, he was wearing a black hoodie with a large print design in the centre, dark tracksuit pants, a wine coloured t-shirt and white runners. Gardaí are concerned for Shane’s welfare.’
A spokesman today told The Sun: ‘Following the recovery of a body in the Bray area of Wicklow on Friday, 7th January 2022, a Missing Person Appeal in respect of Shane O’Connor, 17 years, has been stood down.’
Representatives of Sinead O’Connor said: ‘Regrettably, we can confirm the passing of Shane O’Connor.
‘We politely ask for respect and appreciation for Sinead, Shane’s father and Shane’s family at this most difficult time.’
Taking to Twitter after Shane went missing, Sinead wrote: ‘Shane, your life is precious. God didn’t chisel that beautiful smile on your beautiful face for nothing. My world would collapse without you.
‘You are my heart. Please don’t stop it from beating. Please don’t harm yourself. Go to the Gardai and let’s get you to hospital.’
She later took to the social media platform to threaten the hospital where she said her son had been staying with a ‘lawsuit’ if ‘anything happens to my son’.
She wrote: ‘Like, how has a seventeen year old traumatised young person WHO WAS ON SUICIDE WATCH in Tallaght Hosptial’s Lynn Ward been able to go missing???
‘Hospital of course so far refusing to take any responsibility. Anything happens to my son on their watch? Lawsuits.
‘I want to know why Lynn Ward at Taillight Hospital who were supposed to have HCA’s supervise my child 24/7 have managed to let him out of their grasp this morning when 7 days ago he made two severe suicide attempts.’ (sic)
MailOnline has contacted Tallaght Hospital for comment.
Another tweet read: ‘This is a message for my son, Shane. Shane, it’s not funny any more all this going missing.
‘You are scaring the c**p out of me. Could you please do the right thing and present yourself at a Gardai station. If you are with Shane please call the Gardai for his safety.’
Garda launched an appeal for help in finding Shane, who was last seen in Tallaght, South Dublin, on Friday. The police force confirmed on Saturday that the search for Shane had been ‘stood down’
Paying tribute to her son, she wrote: ‘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’
Sinead later tweeted a Bob Marley song which she dedicated to Shane, describing her son as her ‘blue-eye baby’ and the ‘light of my life’
The Pogues singer Shane MacGowan paid tribute to Shane following his death, saying he ‘prayed’ that the 17-year-old could be ‘at peace’, as he said that Sinead has always been there for him.
Tweets from his official account read: ‘Sinead you have always been there for me and for so many people, you have been a comfort & a soul who is not afraid to feel the pain of the suffering.
‘You have always tried to heal & help. I pray that you can be comforted & find strength, healing & peace in your own sorrow & loss.
‘He was a beautiful boy and I loved him. I pray that he can be at peace and also be able to stay connected with you. Love Shane.’ (sic)
Last February, the mother-of-four asked her fans to pray for her teenage son Shane in a worrying cryptic post shared to Twitter.
She revealed that she’d had a ‘hideous day from hell’ as she made the appeal, writing: ‘Any spare prayers out there, pls stick one in for my son, Shane. The very light of my life.’
Although she did not disclose what happened, she added: ‘Hideous day from hell.’
She previously appealed for help with her teenage son after he went missing in January 2019.
When Shane went missing, Sinead took to Twitter to threaten the hospital where she said her son had been staying with a ‘lawsuit’ if ‘anything happens to my son’
She wrote: ‘Like, how has a seventeen year old traumatised young person WHO WAS ON SUICIDE WATCH in Tallaght Hosptial’s Lynn Ward been able to go missing???’
Shane (pictured left) was one of Sinead’s four children – Jake Reynolds, Roisin Waters and Yeshua Francis Neil Bonadio
She tweeted at the time: ‘My sweet 14 yr old son has been going missing a lot and is currently missing for the last two days.
‘If you are a parent in whose house he has been staying or is staying, please call Dundrum Gardai. Not calling them is not helping him.’
Shane was eventually found ‘safe and well’ three days after going missing from their Dublin home.
Sinead has been married four times and has four children.
Her eldest son is 34-year-old Jake Reynolds, whose father is John Reynolds. They married in 1987 before splitting in 1991.
Her daughter Roisin, 25, is the result of her relationship with journalist John Waters.
She never lived with John and they fought for custody of their daughter before it was decided she would live with him in Dublin.
Sinead had her son Shane with Irish folk musician Donal Lunny and the pair split shortly after Shane’s arrival.
Sinead O’Connor, who is best known for her song Nothing Compares 2 U, is pictured with daughter Roisin and son Shane in 1994
Her youngest child is 15-year-old Yeshua Francis Neil Bonadio, who she shares with American businessman Frank Bonadio. They split in 2017, a year after his birth.
Sinead soared to fame in the 90s with hit song Nothing Compares 2 U, which was named the number one world single by the Billboard Music Awards, while her debut album The Lion and the Cobra charted internationally.
She controversially ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on prime-time television in 1992, but last year admitted in her new book Rememberings that she had no regrets about the stunt.
‘My intention had always been to destroy my mother’s photo of the Pope. It represented lies and liars and abuse,’ she wrote.
‘I never knew when or where or how I would destroy it, but destroy it I would when the right moment came,’ she continued.
Sinead explained that after waking up ‘p**sed off’ she decided that she would tear the image up during her performance on Saturday Night Live.
‘I decide tonight is the night. I know if I do this there’ll be war. But I don’t care. I know my Scripture. Nothing can touch me. I reject the world…’
The fall-out from Sinead’s stunt was largely unforgiving, with many claiming the incident ruined her career.
The singer soared to fame in the 90s with song Nothing Compares 2 U (pictured in the video) and told fans now is the time to ‘make other dreams come true’
However, the hit-maker said she doesn’t doesn’t feel the need to be liked by others or accepted by the music industry.
‘I’m not a pop star. I’m just a troubled soul who needs to scream into a mic now and then. I don’t need to be number one.’
‘I don’t need to be liked. I don’t need to be welcome at the AMAs [American Music Awards],’ she wrote.
In an interview with The New York Times last month, Sinéad described her decision to rip up the photo as ‘brilliant’.
However, she said of the public backlash she received afterwards: ‘It was very traumatising. It was open season on treating me like a crazy b***h.’
In 1999, she became Mother Bernadette Marie after being ordained by bishop Michael Cox of the Latin Tridentine church.
The following year Sinead revealed she was a lesbian in an interview with American magazine Curve.
She told the publication: ‘I’m a lesbian. I haven’t been very open about that, and throughout most of my life I’ve gone out with blokes because I haven’t necessarily been terribly comfortable about being a lesbian.’
And in 2014, Sinead spoke further about her sexuality telling Pride Source she ‘wouldn’t give a s**t’ if the person she loves was a man or woman.
In 2017, Sinead changed her name to Magda Davitt in 2017 so she could be ‘free of parental slave names’ and just one year later, she started using the name Shuhada Sadaqat after converting to Islam in October 2018.
Sinead’s (pictured in July 1988) hit song Nothing Compares 2 U was was named the number one world single by the Billboard Music Awards, while her debut album The Lion and the Cobra charted internationally
In November 2020, Sinéad said she was taking a break from performing as she went into a year-long rehabilitation programme and all her 2021 gigs were called off.
Revealing the news, she said she had ‘lost someone beloved’ and had endured a ‘traumatic six years’.
Sinead admitted she has been ‘addicted to weed for 34 years’ but ‘became briefly addicted’ to another drug following her loss.
Apologising to her fans in a heartfelt statement, she penned: ‘Message for folks who have tickets for next year’s shows: those shows are being postponed until 2022 so that I may go into a one year trauma and addiction treatment program because I had a very traumatic six years and this year was the end of it but now recovery starts.’
She continued: ‘This year I lost someone beloved and has affected me so badly that I became briefly addicted to a drug other than weed.
‘I have been addicted to weed for 34 years. A lifetime.
‘I grew up with a lot of trauma and abuse. I then went straight into the music business. And never learned really how to make a normal life. Never took proper time to heal. Wasn’t ready to either.’
The Nothing Compares 2 U hitmaker then pleaded with her fans to be ‘supportive’ and keep hold of their tickets for 2022, when she vowed to return with a new album.
The singer described the music industry as a ‘very unforgiving place’ for those who need to postpone commitments ‘due to emotional or mental health issues’.
She even voiced her concerns that her decision could end her career, saying that if that were to happen ‘then so be it’.
In 1999, the singer (pictured in September 1990) became Mother Bernadette Marie after being ordained by bishop Michael Cox of the Latin Tridentine church
Sinead revealed that she is beginning her treatment next week, before launching on a brief Twitter tirade about ‘what a total t**t Trump is’.
She penned: ‘Treatment begins next week so I’ll still be posting here until then. Mostly about what a total t**t Trump is. And how he’s way too stupid not to be clever.
‘They may as well just have Putin openly in charge of America since he’s been running it for four years anyway.’
The musician assured her fans that her memoir is still being released next year as she had originally planned and will be promoting her new venture online.
The singer-songwriter has regularly documented her struggles with mental health problems over the years, often using social media as a sounding board for her woes.
Sinéad has worried fans with a series of concerning social media updates about her mental health over the years.
In 2017, she sparked alarm with a teary 12-minute video on her Facebook page in which she stated that she had wanted to kill herself for two years.
For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details.