Sinead O'Connor highlights flaws in care for the mentally ill after death of her son Shane, aged 17

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Sinead O'Connor performs live at Campus Industry Music in Parma, Italy, on January 18 2020. (Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Sinead O'Connor is grieving the death of her teenage son Shane. (Getty Images)

Sinéad O'Connor feels her son Shane was let down by mental health support services after he took his own life aged 17.

The Nothing Compares 2 U singer announced on social media the tragic death of her son Nevi’im Nesta Ali Shane O’Connor. She has since revealed that the 17-year-old was under the care of several state mental health services and was on suicide watch when he went missing from hospital shortly before his death.

O'Connor, 55, wrote on Twitter: "My child has now been dead on Tusla’s watch for over 48 hours and the only contact I have had from anyone representing Tusla was yesterday from their media office, concerned for themselves over the negative publicity.

"Message to Tusla, a storm is coming that you haven’t rehearsed for. Kids are dying in your care every day. Now my kid is one of them. Big mistake."

Tulsa is Ireland's state body for the welfare and wellbeing of children and families.

O'Connor also tweeted: "A month ago Shane was brought to CAMHS after vanishing leaving suicide notes including detailed funeral plans. They discharged him. Said he had no plans. When objections were raised by the adult with him she was told “planning a funeral is no different to planning a wedding”.

She added: "If I may venture … I’ve been married more times than Zsa Zsa Ga-f**king-bor and I’m here to tell CAMHS that planning my child’s funeral is nothing remotely similar to planning his wedding. Which will now never happen. Because you’re unfit for purpose."

CAMHS are the NHS specialist mental health services for children and young people.

O'Connor went on to thank her son's court-appointed representative, saying: "Like to thank Colin Hall, Shane’s GAL. A gent. Adored by Shane and by me. You did your best Colin, thank you."

And she shared: "I would like to thank all care staff at Riverside for the love you gave Shane. You did your best at all times. He loves you for it and so do I. Be at peace."

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 13:  Irish singer Sinead O'Connor leaves Holles Street Maternity Hospital with her new baby son Shane on March 13, 2004.  (Photo by ShowBiz Ireland/Getty Images)
Sinead O'Connor leaving hospital with her baby son Shane in 2004. (Getty Images)

Shane was O'Connor's third child and his father was musician Donal Lunny.

She said: "Also like to thank Shane’s father, Donal Lunny. You did you best too, Donal. And Shane adored you. And I will always remember how sweet you have been to him. You have been a lovely father. I am so sorry for your loss."

The Irish singer – who also uses the name Shuhada Sadaqat after converting to Islam in 2018 – is also mother to son Jake with music producer John Reynolds, Roisin with journalist John Waters and 15-year-old son Yeshua with businessman Frank Bonadio.

Read more: Sinéad O'Connor boycotts BBC 'Woman's Hour' after 'offensive and misogynistic' interview

Announcing Shane's death on Twitter several days after she revealed he had gone missing from hospital, she said: "My beautiful son, Nevi’im Nesta Ali Shane O’Connor, the very light of my life, decided to end his earthly struggle today and is now with God. May he rest in peace and may no one follow his example. My baby. I love you so much. Please be at peace."

Watch: Sinéad O'Connor confirms the death of her teenage son

For confidential emotional support at times of distress, contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org.

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