Sinéad O’Connor honoured with powerful mural outside The George

Tributes to the late Sinéad O'Connor continue to pour in from Irish fans and artists.

The Sinéad O'Connor mural at The George - with Sinéad's skin painted in black and white, with a purple shirt on.
Image: Twitter: @emmaleneblake

In the days following the tragic passing of 56-year-old Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor, ​​also known as Shuhada’ Sadaqat, tributes in remembrance of the icon have flooded in, including a notable new mural from Dublin’s own Emmalene Blake. 

O’Connor’s Irish fans have been particularly affected by the star’s death, showing up in droves for vigils and other in-person events, such as the vigil held outside of the Irish Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum in Dublin City Centre on July 27. Fans of the ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ singer erected a memorial, placing flowers and photos of O’Connor at the site in remembrance of her life and career. 

More recently, Dublin-based artist Emmalene Blake took to the streets to show her love for the late musician in a different medium. Blake, better known by her artist tag ESTR, spray-painted a mural of O’Connor on the side of the beloved LGBTQ+ nightclub, The George. 

In an Instagram post unveiling the mural, Blake related an anecdote of her experience painting the iconic O’Connor. 

“A woman walked by while I was painting this and gave out to me for making [O’Connor] look so angry,” Blake wrote.

“She said it would be ‘much nicer with her looking happy.’ I replied that she had a lot to be angry about.

“Why would I paint her happy, when she should still be here. Her son should still be here. She WAS angry. And she had every right to be angry,” Blake continued. 

“And she was angry on a lot of other people’s behalf’s too. And she turned that anger into something useful, she used it to fight for people’s rights, and to speak up for the abused and the oppressed. She was brave and she wasn’t afraid to show her anger, even if it made people call her mad and even if it meant she was ostracised.”

Blake, in her recount of the conversation, refers to the fact that O’Connor was often a controversial figure in Irish culture, largely due to her criticisms of the Catholic Church. 

Besides her music, O’Connor is most remembered for tearing up a photograph of Pope John Paul II during a live production of Saturday Night Live, an outspoken and controversial act of protest against child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. 

Speaking on O’Connor’s death, Blake concluded her Instagram post, writing: “Now she’s gone, and I’m angry. A lot of people are angry. She deserved so much more. She deserved for people to fight for her the way she fought for others.”


In addition to Blake’s mural, Dublin, and Ireland as a whole, has spent the last week celebrating the life and work of Sinéad O’Connor with President Michael D. Higgins, Tánaiste Micheál Martin, and Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald, among those making statements about the singer’s legacy. 

“Her contribution joins those great achievements of Irish women who contributed to our lives, its culture and its history in their own unique but unforgettable ways. May her spirit find the peace she sought in so many different ways,” wrote President Higgins, adding that O’Connor was “one of our greatest and most gifted composers.”

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