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The Real Sinéad O’Connor

Ariane Sherine

30 July 2024 All day

Sinéad O’Connor achieved worldwide success as an angel-voiced, shaven-headed Irish singer of heartfelt songs, but she was far more than just a pop star – she was also an activist and a survivor.

Reeling from a troubled childhood at the hands of her violent mother, she spent 18 months living in a former Magdalene Laundry due to her truancy and shoplifting, and suffered her mother’s death in a car crash – all by the age of 18.

Her pain, anger and compassion would turn her into one of the world’s greatest protest singers and activists. She would release ten studio albums during her 36-year music career – the second of which (I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got) would reach number 1 across the world and earn her ten million pounds, half of which she gave to charity.

During this time, she would also advocate for survivors of child abuse and racism, and stand up for the LGBT community and women’s reproductive rights. Most notably, she would tear up a picture of Pope John Paul II during an episode of Saturday Night Live in order to protest at child sex abuse within the Catholic church, creating headlines around the world and derailing her career.

Featuring six exclusive interviews with friends and peers who knew her, this is the true story of her extraordinary and courageous journey.

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