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singer's rap Sinéad O'Connor lashes out at authorities for not legalising condoms until the 1980s

Star blasts condom ban for deaths

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Sinead’s autobiography Rememberings
will be out later this year.

Sinead’s autobiography Rememberings will be out later this year.

Sinead in the mock advert for condo in 1986.

Sinead in the mock advert for condo in 1986.

The mock advert for condo in 1986.

The mock advert for condo in 1986.

Sinead O'Connor -  condom -  it's a sin - eugene story

Sinead O'Connor - condom - it's a sin - eugene story

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Sinead’s autobiography Rememberings will be out later this year.

Sinéad O'Connor last night lashed out at Irish authorities for not legalising condoms in this country until the 1980s, as it "cost lives".

The singer spoke out after Channel 4 screened its final episode on Friday of the acclaimed series It's A Sin, which is set among a group of gay people and their friends, and examines the effects of Aids in London in the 1980s and 1990s.

Gutsy Sinéad also declared that she is "proud" that the very first time she came to public attention was when she was just 19 in a mock-up commercial for a fictitious condom product on a BBC show.

Cancer

The Sunday World has tracked down footage of Sinéad's first ever appearance on TV in 1986, prior to her first appearance on Top Of The Pops in 1987 with the hit Mandinka.

The 'commercial' was for a fictitious brand of condoms called 'Prophyltex', and was used during a two-part special for the BBC in 1986 called 'Aids: The Last Chance' during a time when condom advertising on British TV was banned.

The fake ad featured close-up shots of a shaven-headed Sinéad and images of condoms, including one in a foil popping out of a pocket of her jacket sleeve, with a voiceover exclaiming: "Scarlet insists her friends wear the strong protector, Prophyltex, the strong one."

Sinéad (54) vividly remembers doing the promo. "The reason they asked me to do it was because I neither looked like a boy or a girl, they wanted somebody androgynous," Sinéad tells the Sunday World in an exclusive interview.

"It was for a BBC TV show where they discussed the possibility of advertising condoms. It was a mock-up advert and was used in some TV shows to suggest that adverts could be done quite subtly for these things. It wasn't an ad that was ever used any further than that TV show.

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Channel 4 series It’s A Sin

Channel 4 series It’s A Sin

Channel 4 series It’s A Sin

"There had never been an ad on TV up to then for condoms. I'm really proud to have taken part in that advert, I've always been very proud of it, so I was thrilled to see it resurface recently. I remember it being filmed and everything, I hope it saved lives."

But Sinéad blasted both church and State here, who she said "cost lives" with their blanket ban on contraception in Ireland until the early 1980s, including condoms, which help stop the transmission of HIV during sexual intercourse.

She says young people today would be "flabbergasted" that condoms were banned here until the 1980s.

Condoms first became legal in Ireland in 1980, but only with a doctor's prescription.

There was some liberalisation in 1985, when condoms could be bought without a prescription, but only in pharmacies.

"I remember Richard Branson bringing them into the Virgin Megastore and U2 used to put them in HMV," recalls Sinead.

The Virgin Megastore in Dublin sold condoms on their premises in 1988 and had action taken against it by the State.

"Before that Nell McCafferty, along with a lot of her feminist friends, they used to take trains up and down Ireland. They used to throw condoms out the windows before they would land at the station, So I think Nell McCafferty and her friends were first to be doing it. You couldn't get the pill either," Sinéad says.

"Remember Ann Lovett [who died at the age of 15 giving birth in a grotto in Granard in 1984], that's my mantra about all of this.

"It all includes that, it's not just about the gay community or whatever, there was no contraception for anybody, no condoms for any reason, and then you had little girls giving birth to babies in fields and dying.

"The whole system here is still f***ed, by the way, when you want to go into it, looking at Tuam for example, the Magdalene state of mind is still very much in existence."

The mother-of-four still performs under the name Sinéad O'Connor but after converting to Islam in 2018 prefers to be called Shuhada Sadaqat.

"I'm fed up not working but apart from that I'm grand," she replies when asked how she is.

"I've a new album coming out, which will most likely be released early next year, if we are lucky it will be late this year. I have also got my book coming out in June, my autobiography, which is being released by Penguin Ireland."

The book, which we publish the cover of today for the first time, is called Rememberings.

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