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Editorial: We’ve lost the voice of a generation – but Sinéad’s impact will echo for years to come

The much-loved singer was much more than a famous pop star, even if she didn’t believe that herself

Sinéad O’Connor would argue that she never intended to be any kind of spokesperson. Picture: Paul Bergen/Redferns

The 1980s was the hinge decade between the old Ireland and the new. Those were the years when cracks began to appear on the face of the Catholic republic, but the eruption was still some way off.

The nation was a combustible mix of youth, emigration, religious and educational authoritarianism, unemployment, the reverberations of the Troubles, individual tragedies, an ineffective and aloof state, ossified politics and the GUBU years, and problems without solutions.

Even if ...