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Singer and Family Rummage Through Their Psyches in Public

July 1, 1993

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) _ The Irish Times has been warned: ″If you print one more word about Joe or Sinead O’Connor, or any of their relatives, about their family, I will stop buying your paper.″

That letter from reader Maeve Kennedy, which appeared in the paper on Wednesday, was not the first to take exception to the public catharsis of the O’Connors.

Sinead O’Connor caught the outraged or approving attention of Americans for a few weeks when she tore up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on NBC’s ″Saturday Night Live″ in October.

Back in her native Ireland, she raised her already high profile on June 10 with a full-page ad in The Irish Times, baring her soul in a lengthy poem.

″My name is Sinead O’Connor, / I am learning to love myself,″ she began, and pleaded with the public to ″stop hurting me please.″

As she had done in many interviews, O’Connor blamed her unhappiness on abuse she suffered as a child.

″If only I can fight off the voices of my parents / and gather a sense of self-esteem / Then I’ll be able to REALLY sing ...″

O’Connor’s brother Joseph responded with a lengthy article on June 19, defending his father and protesting that the family had given her love and support.

He echoed his sister’s complaints about their mother, who died in 1985. She was a deeply unhappy and disturbed woman who subjected her children to ″extreme and violent abuse, both emotional and physical,″ he wrote.

″People everywhere must know that we have had our share of troubles, that we really should be left alone to sort them out,″ he added.

″But no, in the debased times in which we live it is just fabulously entertaining to watch the famous and those around them suffer, and hell, no ambitious journalist ever got poor underestimating the taste of the public.″

Sinead had more to say June 26:

″Our family is very messed up. We can’t communicate with each other. We are all in agony. I for one am in agony.″

In Tuesday’s Irish Times, a letter from Fiona Garland of Dublin praised O’Connor’s ″magnificent″ poem because it ″asks us to explore all our unresolved pain, all our angels and demons ...″

But an earlier letter writer from Dublin had a different view:

″My name is Conor Bowman

″I am learning to love myself.

″I deserve respect, love, understanding,

″wealth, excessive publicity, untold luck ...

″But I am poor and cannot afford a full-page

″advertisement in a national paper.″

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