Sinead O'Connor's acts of kindness uncovered after death as she helped dying fan

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Sinead O
Sinead O'Connor's acts of kindness uncovered after death as she helped dying fan

Sinead O'Connor's kind spirit and her numerous acts of generosity are being remembered after the Irish music legend's heartbreaking death at the age of 56 last week.

A retired English teacher from Preston, Lancashire has shared how the Nothing Compares 2 U singer gave his terminally ill daughter the "best week of her short life" in 1991 – with Sinead reaching out to her fan out of the blue and inviting her to spend a week with her at her London flat.

Louise Woolcock discovered she had rhabdomyosarcoma – a type of tumour – at the age of 18, shortly before she was due to enrol at Leeds University. In 1991, at the age of 20, Louise received a surprising phone call; an invite from Sinead, who at the time was around 25-years-old and at the height of her fame.

Louise's dad Philip recalls how the Grammy Award-winning artist "spoke so quickly and softly" when reaching out to his daughter from Los Angeles. He notes how the Drink Before the War singer "must have read Louise's story in the press", as they had been hosting charity events to raise funds for their local hospice.

Sinead invited Louise to spend some time with her in London and was at Euston station to meet her young fan when she went on to travel down from Blackpool station. "There was no pomposity about her. Just a girl from Ireland meeting a girl from Blackpool," Louise's dad remembers.

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He notes how Sinead was joined by her security guard called Winston and how a "posh car pulled up and Louise was whisked off to Sinead’s pad". Philip adds how, thanks to his daughter's short hair – a result of gruelling chemotherapy sessions – and Sinead's signature buzz cut, the two young women looked like sisters.

"That night they went out drinking and dancing — and met up with singer Peter Gabriel. From all accounts it was a wild night and I don’t think they got any sleep," Peter tells The Sun. "They ended up in Pizza Express, where Sinead and Louise sang Love Shack at the top of their voices."

He continues to recall how when Louise returned home a few days later, she was tired but very happy – sharing how it was "first time I’d seen her eyes sparkle since she started her chemo nearly 18 months before."

Sinead kept in touch with Louise, even giving her young fan her platinum disc for Nothing Compares 2 U during another London visit and dedicating her Christmas song Silent Night to her. When Louise's illness worsened, Sinead reached out with flowers, cards and phone calls.

"She was always there for her, a wonderful friend, a beacon of light and laughter who brightened her darkest days. Sinead trusted Louise like a sister. She often spoke about how she had come from nothing and she wasn’t sure who was genuine in her life," Peter recalls. "She wasn’t a celebrity to us, she was just Sinead, a wonderful friend to our dying daughter."

Louise was moved to a hospice in August 1992 and died the same year. Sinead was unable to attend the funeral due to an intense work schedule but sent flowers and a card with a heartfelt message. Peter states how he will always be grateful to Sinead for showing his late daughter "excitement and joy in the months leading up to her death."

Last week Sinead was found unresponsive at her home in south London, police revealed in a statement on Thursday. The Nothing Compares 2 U singer's family confirmed her passing on Wednesday July 26 , sparking tributes from heartbroken friends and celebrities across the world.

Zoe Delaney

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