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How About I Be Me - Sinéad O'Connor

Another tv programme (see last post) that Sinéad O'Connor featured in was the 1996 "Father Ted" episode - "Rock a Hula Ted", in which Craggy Island is visited by a feminist rock star called Niamh Connolly, an obvious pastiche of O'Connor. Due to Father Dougal's inability to communicate with a strong woman, he gifts the priests' house to Connolly, leaving the deeply sexist Ted having to convince her otherwise to get it back.

The part of Niamh Connolly was taken by Claire Grogan, who many first encountered when she acted the lead opposite John Gordon Sinclair in the 1980 comic film "Gregory's Girl". Perhaps more pertinently Grogan was lead singer in the new wave band Altered Images, famous for a string of hit singles and albums in the early eighties including the quirky "Happy Birthday".

O'Connor loved "Father Ted" and found the lampoon of herself hilarious.

Her final album before her death was "I'm not Bossy, I'm the Boss", released in 2014. Track One is "How About I Be Me". Sometimes we forget that iconic stars like Sinead O'Connor, so great is the shadow they cast, are people like ourselves. Here she proves, as well as being a feminist and rock legend, she's just that, a human being, with all the frailties that entails: needs, sensitivity, vulnerability, loneliness. Oh yes, and that she could write a damn good pop song.

Upon O'Connor's death Grogan posted on Twitter "Totally Heartbreaking. Totally Heartbroken" while the pre-eminent Irish troubadour of his generation, Seamus Heaney, tweeted:

"A great Irish poet and singer left us today. She was beautiful, courageous and wore her heart on her sleeve. She was before her time. Nothing will ever compare to Sinéad O’Connor. Rest easy Sinéad."


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