The Paddy Power Comedy Festival returned this weekend, and while there were plenty of laughs, there was also a heartfelt moment, when comedian Jason Byrne paid tribute to the late Sinéad O’Connor.
The comedian asked the crowd to sing her hit song Mandinka at the end of his show, with the audience belting out the track as the headliners sang and danced on stage.
The touching moment made an impression on singer Úna Healy, who attended the festival with her The Six O’Clock Show co-host Zeinab Elguzouli.
“It goes without saying that it’s been a pretty rough week for everyone in the Irish music industry given Sinead’s passing. There’s such a heaviness in everyone’s heart at the moment but everyone is finding their own way to pay tribute to her memory, even here,” The Saturdays star told The Irish Sun.
“I was at Jason Byrne’s gig this evening and at the very end of his set he called on the crowd to join him in belting out one of her most famous songs,” she detailed.
Explaining how special the moment was, the Tipperary native said: “He had the whole audience on their feet singing Mandika in unison. It was a bittersweet but beautiful moment.”
“It feels like one of the shining lights of Irish music has been extinguished.”
“We’re all heartbroken but I just hope she knew how much her country cherished her. She was a talent like no other.”
The 56-year-old’s family confirmed the sad news of her passing earlier this week.
Releasing a statement, reading: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
The Dublin native rose to fame following her first album The Lion And The Cobra in 1987, which received critical acclaim.
She found enormous success with her second album, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, which included the sensational hit, Nothing Compares 2 U.
The beloved track top the charts around the world, reaching number one in Ireland, the US, the UK, and many more.
Sinéad received international recognition for her music, including a Brit Award for international female solo artist, 1991’s Artist Of The Year by Rolling Stone magazine, a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Performance, two Billboard Music Awards, and three MTV Video Music Awards.
Overall she released ten albums throughout her career, and was also known for being outspoken on her social and political beliefs.