Chicago’s Irish American News, December 2018




Good old Sinead O’Connor.  Well, as was.  Between the jigs and the reels I haven’t found a lot to smile about these past few months, but Sinead’s latest shenaninigans are… oh, different.  Even for her.

As you’ll know by now, Sinead O’Connor is no more. Earlier this year she changed her name to Magda Davitt.  Something to do with wishing to rid herself of ‘parental curses’; you know – the usual problems that beset all of us.  Nobody seems to have noticed or cared and so now she’s done the big one:  converting to Islam and changing her name once again, this time to Shuhada Davitt.  Apparently it means something like ‘martyr’ which would appear to be appropriate considering how the lady has always viewed herself.

With a proper sense of occasion Shuhada/Sinead wrote in October:

“This is to announce that I am proud to have become a Muslim.  This is the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey.  All scripture study leads to Islam.  Which makes all other scriptures redundant.”

She then went on to burst into song with a rousing rendition of the Islamic call to prayer which, if recorded, one suspects will probably NOT equal ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ in selling power.  Or even on a list of memorable tunes to hum along to.

Naturally enough, Shuhada Magda’s conversion – ah hell, I’m just going to write Sinead for the sake of convenience – is her own business.  And if she wants to share her happiness with us, that’s fine too; whatever floats your boat, says I. But Sinead being Sinead, she has never been one to leave things alone and so of course she had go that extra step and – having given it possibly no thought whatever – added a few days later:

“I’m terribly sorry.  What I’m about to say is something so racist I never thought my soul could ever feel it.  But truly I never wanna spend time with white people again (if that’s what non-Muslims are called).  Not for one moment, for any reason.  They are disgusting.”

Uh…yeah.  Right. Received and understood.  And speaking as a disgusting white person I’m more than happy to oblige.  Might be a bit of a problem when it comes to being with your children or their fathers, I would have thought, but what do I know, not being an expert on theology, like Sinead.  Come to think of it, the singer might even have a problem when she looks in the mirror of a morning; but I’m sure that she has enough fake indignation to get over that minor hurdle.

All a bit looney-tunes, really.  But the part that really made me smile was when her new best friends were a bit put out by her rambles, one of them (@FatiSada) even telling her:  “Easy, sister.  All are equal in the eyes of Allah.”

I think the ship has sailed when it comes to telling Sinead O’Connor to take it easy, but you really do have to laugh when you manage to even annoy the people that you’ve just joined up with.

The good news is that Sinead is only 51 and, having explored the far reaches of extreme Catholicism and now diving head-first into Islam, she still has plenty of time to convert to Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, the Way of the Jedi or whatever-you’re-having- yourself.

Word is that the Scientologists are in a pure panic in case she decides at some stage to come over to their side.

Heck, they get enough bad press as it is.  They don’t need Sinead suddenly taking up for them into the bargain.

Let’s face it, no one needs that.



Another person who made me smile this week was the truly awful ex-British Prime Minister and ex-human being, Tony Blair. Tony, as all who have watched him in action over the years know, is a guy that if he shook your hand, you would not be just checking for your wrist watch but for how many fingers you had left.

A creep of the highest order, he actually came out and said that he was in an ‘unholy alliance’ with Boris Johnson over the never-ending BREXIT debacle.

‘An unholy alliance’…think about that.

A guy with the blood of thousands on his hands, totally unrepentant about what he has done to the families of those who saw their sons/daughters/ wives/ husbands/ die in a useless bloody war that he and his boss George Bush orchestrated.  And this guy has the SHEER NERVE to talk about ‘unholy alliances’.

Yeah, it made me smile alright.  Just not in the way that mentally ill (by her own admission) Sinead made me smile.

There’s very little funny about Tony Blair, a guy who should be getting tried for war crimes instead of being lauded as someone that is worth listening to.


On a different note, I want to sincerely thank all of you who emailed to ask how my mother has been doing since her stroke several months ago.  I have been so touched by your kind thoughts:  after all, few of you who have emailed know me, nor I you.  But it has been a huge comfort to me.

Nan Brady is a woman who often took me to task over things I’d written – by God, did she do that! She didn’t always agree, you can be bloody sure about that.

Nor did she get my love of and obsession with silent horror movies, for example.  Even though it was Nan who introduced me to them half a century ago.

How many times did I hear her say: ‘Ach, ah don’t know what you see in that tripe; I sometimes think you’re no a’ there in the heed.’

I suppose that she thought I would grow out of my love for those ancient old movies; instead, I never did.

I’ve been travelling back to Scotland every few weeks now just to hold her hand and tell her how much my brothers and I love her.

But if I’m honest with myself, then I have to admit that she never has really recovered from that stroke.  More often than not, I doubt very much that she knows who I am anymore.

And that hurts more than anything I can ever explain.

Yet she seems contented now.  She smiles a lot; and in her own way, I suppose she is happy; that in her closed-off (to us) mind she has found her own reasons to be cheerful.

And I like to think that somewhere inside she is remembering the happy, happy times that she had with my late dad.  And with my brothers and I, her sons, when we were carefree little nippers.

When I was sitting with her last I found myself wondering about the worlds of memories that must be going on in her head.  And I got to thinking about a passage from Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Sandman’:

“Everybody has a secret world inside of them… Inside, they all have got unimaginable, magnificent, amazing worlds.  Not just one world. Hundreds of them.  Thousands, maybe.”

Mum, whatever world you’re in now, I wish with all of my heart that you are happy.  No one deserves to be more than you do.