Coroners Reveal Sinéad O'Connor’s Cause of Death

O’Connor passed away at 56 in a London home in July 2023. She converted to Islam five years before her death.

Coroners Reveal Sinéad O'Connor’s Cause of Death
Despite a complex journey with fame, O'Connor remained active in music and expressed plans for new releases and an international tour shortly before her death.

The Hollywood Reporter recently announced the cause of death for Sinéad O'Connor, the Irish activist and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter known best for her song "Nothing Compares 2 U." O’Connor passed away at 56 in a London home in July 2023.

Recently, the Southwark Coroners Court in London determined that O'Connor's cause of death was natural. The medical examiner's office confirmed this, stating that the coroner has concluded their involvement, and no further comments will be provided. Initial reports last year indicated no medical cause of death, but a direct autopsy was conducted.

O'Connor was found unresponsive, and her death was not treated as suspicious by local authorities. “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time,” her family said at that time.

Known for her bold activism, O’Connor had a long and public relationship with religion. Her tumultuous relationship with the Catholic Church began early, rooted in her Catholic upbringing in Ireland. Her most controversial public moment came in 1992, during a live performance on "Saturday Night Live" (1975–), when O'Connor finished her set by tearing up a photo of Pope John Paul II. O’Connor called the act a protest against the Catholic Church's silence on child sex abuse.

Despite her public struggles with religion, O'Connor publicly announced her conversion to Islam in 2018, adopting the name Shuhada' Davitt. “This is the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey,” she wrote on the platform X (known at the time as Twitter) from a since-deleted account. All scripture study leads to Islam. Which makes all other scriptures redundant."

Sheikh Umar Al-Qadri, Chief Imam at the Islamic Centre of Ireland and O'Connor's friend and spiritual advisor, shared in an NPR interview that her decision was a result of thorough research and theological discussions. O'Connor found peace in Islam, appreciating the direct communication with God and the way Islam aligned with her views of humanity and the arts. “Islam is the faith, is the religion,” Al-Qadri told NPR. “Once [O’Connor] embraced and accepted Islam, I knew by engaging with her — and obviously, people that know her, they know that she had always longed for peace. And I think with Islam, she did get that peace.”

Al-Qadri also discussed some meaningful moments in O'Connor's spiritual journey, including her recitation of the Athan and emphasized the importance of acknowledging her identity as both a proud Irish and Muslim woman. The broader Muslim community, both in Ireland and globally, welcomed her conversion, expressing sadness and heartbreak at her passing.

O’Connor is preceded in death by her son Shane Lunny. She is survived by her children Jake Reynolds, Roisin Waters and Yeshua Bonadio. 

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