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Investigation launched into the death of Sinead O’Connor’s son

The singer's 17-year-old son Shane was found dead in Dublin last Friday (January 7)

By Joe Goggins

Sinead O'Connor performs live in Torino, Italy on January 19, 2020
O'Connor took to Twitter to criticise the Irish state. (Photo: Alessandro Bosio/Alamy)

The death of Sinead O’Connor’s son will be investigated by Ireland’s National Review Panel (NRP).

The Irish singer-songwriter broke the news of the passing of Shane O’Connor on her Twitter account on Saturday (January 8). He was 17. “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,” wrote O’Connor. “May he rest in peace and may no one follow his example. My baby. I love you so much. Please be at peace.”

She went on to demand answers as to why her son was allowed to leave Tallaght hospital in Dublin, from where he had been reported missing two days before his death. O’Connor claims that Shane was “on suicide watch”, and attacked the child and family agency Tusla, referring to “the so called care of the Irish State in the form of Tusla…may God forgive the Irish state for I never will.”

Now, The Irish Times reports that Shane’s death will be investigated by the NRP, which was set up to look into incidents where serious failings may have occurred, including the deaths of children who were in care or known to child protection services.

Approached for comment by the Times, the hospital said: “The HSE (Health Service Executive) cannot comment on individual cases when to do so might reveal information in relation to identifiable individuals, breaching the ethical requirement on us to observe our duty of confidentiality.”

In a series of tweets, O’Connor took aim at the HSE – Ireland’s publicly funded healthcare provider – as well as the Irish state in general. She called the former “evil” and “self-serving”. A spokeswoman for the Garda earlier confirmed that the body of a young man had been found in the Bray/Shankill area of Dublin on Friday (January 7), and that gardaí were “assisting the coroner in preparing a file for an inquest”. 

O’Connor has three other children, aged between 15 and 33. Last June, she announced her immediate retirement from music, before retracting it three days later. Her eleventh album, ‘No Veteran Dies Alone’, is expected to be released this year.

If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this article, you can speak to somebody in confidence and free of charge by calling the Samaritans on 116 123 (UK and Ireland), emailing, or visiting