Rocker Bob Geldof, a long time friend of the late Sinead O’Connor, has spoken out about their last text exchange.
O’Connor died on Wednesday, July 26, at age 56. At present, no cause of death has been announced, and the autopsy results will reportedly take “several weeks” to be delivered.
However, her 17-year-old son, Shane, died by suicide in January of 2022, and she later wrote on Twitter: “I’ve decided to follow my son. There is no point living without him.”
Her final tweet earlier this month referenced Shane.
“Been living as undead night creature since,” she wrote. “He was the love of my life, the lamp of my soul.”
In 2007, the Grammy-winning Irish singer revealed that she was battling bipolar disorder.
Geldof, 71, was friendly with O’Connor for over 30 years. On Saturday night, he spoke about O’Connor at at the Cavan Calling Festival in Cavan, Ireland, and shared with the audience that they had exchanged text messages two weeks before her death.
“She was a very good friend of mine,” Geldof told the crowd, according to the Independent. “We were talking right up to a couple of weeks ago.”
“Some of the texts were laden with desperation and despair and sorrow and some were ecstatically happy,” he said. “She was like that.”
Their friendship dated back to their childhoods, since they lived only 75 yards away from each other and took the same bus to school, according to The Irish Examiner.
O’Connor, who is survived by three children and one grandchild, had a troubled and tragic youth, as she allegedly suffered abuse from her mother.
“She ran a torture chamber,” O’Connor once tearfully told Dr. Phil of her late mom, Johanna O’Grady.
“My earliest memory, she’s telling me I shouldn’t have been born. She didn’t want me … She was a person who took delight, would smile in hurting you.”
When O’Connor famously and controversially ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II in 1992, to protest child sex abuse rampant in the Catholic Church, she said that it was the same photo that had belonged to her mom.
“My intention had always been to destroy my mother’s photo of the pope,” she wrote in her memoir. “It represented lies and liars and abuse. The type of people who kept these things were devils like my mother.”
“She is a pistol,” Geldof told the crowd, as he reminisced about O’Connor.
“I had to do a thing with ‘The New York Times’ about her, two years ago, and I tried to tell her about Maud Gonne, Yeats’ great muse, love object, revolutionary woman — years ahead of her time — who told the truth, who was a great artist and who was a radical and an activist at the same time,” said Geldof.
“And it’s not a good comparison, but I said the sense I have is that Sinéad is the Maud Gonne of our time, and probably just as important in modern Ireland. She was relentless, she had a voice like none of us had ever heard, so pure.”
He recontextualized O’Connor’s “SNL” Pope photo controversy because he said he believed it was inspired by him tearing up a photo of John Travolta.
“It was a little more extreme than tearing up f**king disco,” he said. “Tearing up the Vatican is a whole other thing, but more correct actually, I should have done it…we were just speechless on how beautiful, how brilliant she was.”