Thousands of fans gathered outside Sinéad O’Connor’s Irish home for the late singer’s funeral procession Tuesday.
The crowd lined up along the seafront in the coastal town of Bray to witness O’Connor’s flower-laden coffin pass by in a Volkswagen hearse, which displayed a black-and-white photograph of the Grammy winner in its rear window.
Many mourners held up signs featuring slogans including “Black Lives Matter” and “Gay Pride” in honor of the provocative performer and political activist.
“I think she had the courage to say a lot of things that we all felt,” a fan named Gemma Byrne told Reuters.
“She represented our transition from a very dark past into a hopeful future, and I’m just here to say thanks for being with me along that journey, and for maybe putting words and expression on what I felt but didn’t quite know how to say.”
O’Connor’s family held a private funeral service prior to the procession, according to RTE, which reported that Irish President Michael D. Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar were among those on the guest list.
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“The more she sang and spoke about her own pain, as well as about the pervasive sins in society that she witnessed, the more her voice and her words resonated with listeners and touched their hearts,” Islamic scholar Umar Al-Qadri, who led the Muslim burial, said during his eulogy.
Al-Qadri added that O’Connor, an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church who converted to Islam in 2018, had been “gifted with a voice that moved a generation of young people” and “could reduce listeners to tears by her otherworldly resonance.”
O’Connor was found dead on July 26 at an apartment in London. She was 56.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad,” her “devastated” family said in a statement, in which they “requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
While the cause has yet to be determined, the Metropolitan Police said the “Nothing Compares 2 U” singer’s death was “not being treated as suspicious.”
The news came one year after O’Connor’s son Shane died at the age of 17.
O’Connor was also the mother of sons Jake, 36, and Yeshua, 16, and daughter Roisin, 27.