‘I still haven’t quite accepted Sinead is gone – but I’m glad she felt our love’

Today is my four-year-old son’s birthday, he was born on 8 December 2019, on Sinead O’Connor’s 53rd birthday. This year she would have been 57. When he was born, my debut feature documentary, Nothing Compares, was in its infancy. Myself and a small team had just recorded an interview with Sinead and her closest friend and “comrade in arms” John Reynolds. We knew that this candid interview was something truly unique and special, but none of us realised how it would become the cornerstone of our film.

People often describe our film Nothing Compares as a music documentary, but to me, it’s much more personal than that. It’s a meditation on grief. During the making of it, when Sinead was still alive, I would have vivid dreams where she and I talked about my reasons for making this film. I remember one early one, she was wary and I sat her down and told her, from the bottom of my heart, what she had meant to me as an Irish woman; how she had inspired me, about the fire she had lit in my belly and that I shared the same rage as her. I woke up with a wet face and was startled at how intense our conversation had been. From that moment, doors kept swinging open for me and the crew.

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