Elaine Byrne: Sinéad wanted us to listen to things that were easier to ignore

Many people dismissed the singer as crazy – but underneath it all she just wanted to make things better

Sinéad O’Connor had an affinity with the pain of others, recognising the loneliness of a stranger, otherness, and invisible suffering

There was a man in our church called James.

He would shout his prayers and stand in the middle of the aisle and talk loudly as the priest was saying mass in the granite Wicklow chapel. No one minded him. The congregation ignored him. He had become part of the liturgy. But he was angry at something. In the 20 years I attended that church every Sunday in the 1980s and 1990s, I have no ...