Ireland bids farewell to singer Sinead O’Connor

BRAY-Mourners and fans gathered Tuesday in the Irish town once home to singer Sinead O’Connor to pay their last respects ahead of her burial. The musician’s funeral cortege will pass along the seafront in the town of Bray, 20 kilometres (13 miles) south of Dublin, where she lived for 15 years. The Grammy award-winning singer, best known for her cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U”, died last month after being found unresponsive at her London home. She was 56.  The musician, who rose to international fame in the 1990s, will be mourned at a funeral attended by family and friends before a private burial. Her family offered the public the chance to pay their final respects by organising the cortege through Bray, saying she loved the town and its residents. “With this procession her family would like to acknowledge the outpouring of love for her from the people of (County) Wicklow and beyond since she left last week to go to another place,” O’Connor’s family added in a weekend statement. Dozens of people, some bearing flowers, were already in place hours before the funeral -- due to begin at 10:30 am (0930 GMT) -- and subsequent procession.  Some left tributes outside O’Connor’s former home, named “Montebello”, which the cortege is set to pass by. One message left on the gatepost read: “Sinead, thank you for hearing us and responding... sorry for breaking your heart.” Others pinned the Irish flag and pictures.  On a coastal hilltop overlooking Bray, a World War II navigational sign for pilots spelling Ireland in Irish -- “Eire” -- was decorated with a heart and “Sinead” in tribute to the singer.

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