herald

Friday 20 October 2017

Sinead O'Connor: I won't be joining Sinn Fein

Sinead O'Connor
Sinead O'Connor
Mairia Cahill

SINGER Sinead O'Connor has decided not to join Sinn Fein following a meeting with party officials.

The Wicklow-based performer had previously declared her intention to become a party member and said she wanted the entire Sinn Fein leadership to step down.

Earlier this month, O'Connor said she was "looking forward" to meeting party officials to "find out if my application to join is going to be successful".

But the Herald has now confirmed that she told officials last week that she would not be proceeding with her membership application.

bored

While a Sinn Fein spokesman refused to comment on the discussions that took place, a source said O'Connor's membership has not been processed.

"I can confirm that the party has met with Sinead O'Connor but we don't comment on our discussions with people who apply to join the party," the spokesman said.

While O'Connor did not respond to a request for comment yesterday, she said on her official Facebook page that she has been dissuaded from joining the party.

The outspoken chart-topper said she met two Sinn Fein officials last week but suggested that she has now been dissuaded from getting involved in the party.

"They persuaded me that I'd be bored s***less, pretty much waiting for them to get into government before being able to help generate any national discussion on the issue of ending partition," O'Connor said.

"It was said to me that people like myself are more useful 'working alongside' since we can say what we like".

O'Connor wrote on social media that it "became clear to me during the meeting" with Sinn Fein officials that the issue of partition isn't "anywhere on any political party's agenda apart from Sinn Fein's".

But she said she believes the party "have to play down" the issue because it is a "taboo subject".

O'Connor's plans to join the party raised eyebrows within Sinn Fein circles and attracted criticism from abuse victim Mairia Cahill, who was raped by a suspected IRA figure.

appalling

"I had no explanation for how a woman who has been so vocal about child abuse could have chosen to join a party which has been in the headlines for their handling of this issue since my own story broke on BBC Spotlight," Ms Cahill wrote last month.

In a letter to Ms Cahill last month, the Nothing Compares 2 U singer claimed she wanted to join Sinn Fein because she wanted to reframe "what it means to be a republican".

"The very fact it is considered appalling to join Sinn Fein is why the elders should step down and is also why new people should join," she said.

noconnor@herald.ie

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