painful loss Sinead O’Connor says TDs are not 'bothered' while teens like her son Shane die in State's care
An anguished Sinead O’Connor has blasted the Government in a new tweet about her son Shane’s suicide.
In a message posted on her ‘Sinead The 1 And Only’ twitter handle, the singer wrote: “One of the most painful things about Shane’s suicide is that he is only one of the entirety of teenagers in the ‘care’ of the Irish State that are burning alive at the gates of the Dail because no one inside can be bothered looking out the squinting windows.”
Shane’s 17-year-old son went missing from hospital and was found dead in Bray a few days later.
Figures released last year revealed how nearly half the deaths of children and young people while in the care of the State in the previous decade were due to suicide or drug overdoses.
The figures were published by National Review Panel (NRP), which is responsible for examining deaths of children in care, and those known to child-protection and welfare services.
The report in November 2021 showed how 42 young people died in the State care system between 2010 and 2019, with 18 dying by suicide or from a drug overdose.
Twelve died by suicide, with the remaining six deaths attributed to drug overdoses. The remainder were recorded as dying from natural causes and from accidents.
In 2014 alone, four young people in the care system died by suicide, while three died from drug overdoses in 2010. Children and adolescents taken into care by Tusla, the child and family agency, are placed in foster homes or residential centres. Tusla figures show there are more than 5,800 children in care.
The figures include those who died while receiving aftercare support services in the years after turning 18.
Sinead has been left heartbroken since her son’s death, and has been paying tribute to “the light of [her] life” online in recent weeks.
In a recent Twitter update, Sinead told her followers that she doesn’t plan to perform ever again.
Sharing a link to an Irish lament, she wrote: “Just to say, suggestions there’ll be any performances this year or next year or ever again are erroneous. There will never be anything to sing about again. #DropsMike.”
Her fans quickly showed their support and extended their condolences to the grieving mother.
One person said: “Never performing again is okay. Whatever others suggest. It's your life, your decision. Do something that feels right to you. Doing nothing is also okay...”
Another wrote: “Sinead if you never perform again, you have accomplished a lifetime of work You will always be remembered for the great woman who is loving, courageous, strong and have been there for those in need. I'm so sorry for your pain, it’s difficult to see someone hurt that you love.”
While a third added: “I am so sorry to read that. But I respect your choice. Thanks for all these years of music. You saved my life, thanks to you and your voice. Telling you to go live on stage will be selfish. Do what you think will be right. Hugs from Italy.”
A fourth person asked others not to offer unsolicited advice to Sinead about how to handle her grief, which the singer retweeted.
The tweet read: “Bereaved parents don’t need advice. We just need people to witness our pain and not try to fix it. It’s unfixable.
“Please don’t offer advice to Sinead. It’s not helpful, and actually causes more pain.”
If you have been affected by the issues raised in this article, contact the Samaritans on 116 123; Pieta House on 1800 247 247 or text HELLO to 50808, a free 24/7 text support service for people going through a mental health or emotional crisis.
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