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Singer Sinéad O’Connor will play her first gig since April this week in Triskel Christchurch as a fundraiser for Cork mental health group Mad Pride Ireland. The gig has been sold out for months and the singer revealed that she loves playing in churches.
The singer is looking forward to the gig, which will be performed acoustically in the former church. Aptly, the first half of the show will comprise songs mainly taken from her ‘Theology’ album.
The ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ singer has not played Cork in years but was attracted to helping Mad Pride as she is also interested in breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness.
“I like both the name and the idea of Mad Pride,” she said. “I really think it’s important to reclaim the word. It shouldn’t be right to use it, although I do it sometimes myself.” She suggested that the word ‘mad’ should have no negative connotations in future.
She says that Mad Pride CEO David McCarthy sought her out as she is vocal about mental illness and somebody who had recently struggled with her mental illness.
The singer had cancelled her latest tour in January after seeking treatment for depression, a situation that was played out quite publicly. She had released an acclaimed album ‘How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?’ in December.
Ms O’Connor says that she is “pretty good” at the moment. “I have the normal ups and downs. I’m enjoying life, thanks be to God.”
She said that she had been “stupidly” advised by a doctor to give up her medication before her tour.
She would advise anyone who has bi-polar disorder to keep talking medication. She described taking her meds as “a life or death situation”. “I would be dead if I stopped taking them.”
The singer praised the work of Pieta House and said that people who have suicidal feelings should talk to suicide prevention groups and not just psychiatric services.
Ms O’Connor said that she plans to re-release last year’s album ‘How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?’ in January and she is also writing new songs with her friend Don Baker. She is also writing songs on her own, but describes him as a “cornerstone”. She also revealed plans to record a gospel album in the US at some point in the future.
About the abuses revealed in Catholic Church in Ireland, she says “it’s being run by the wrong people, but it’s salvageable if people care enough”. She said the current hierarchy should leave and the people should be given the keys.
“The people in charge have brought Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit into disrepute. They are acting like they don’t believe in the Holy Spirit at all.”
She said that following the reports of child abuse in the Catholic Church in Ireland, if leaders acknowledged how many mistakes had been made, it may have been possible for the church to renew itself. Instead, they had behaved “incredibly arrogantly” and “didn’t exercise Christian values”.
“Not once did I see a member of the church crying on television, although I saw the victims and their families and everyone else crying on television,” she said.
The gig takes place on Friday 19 October at 8pm in the Triskel. Support comes from the Ger Wolfe Trio and Cork based Niamh Brady.