Sinéad O’Connor was inspired to rip photo of the Pope by fellow Irish star

Sinead O'Connor rips a photo of the Pope

Sinéad O’Connor has said that she was inspired to rip up a photo of the Pope by Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof.

The Irish star shocked US studio and TV audiences in 1992 when she held up a photo of the Pope at the end of her performance on Saturday Night Live.

She ripped the photo and told viewers to ‘fight the real enemy’.

Sinead O'Connor rips a photo of the Pope

Her statement was a reference to sexual abuse in the Catholic Church but given that it was years before the full horror of the scandal came to light, the audience reacted in a shocked silence.

In the following weeks, O’Connor was heavily criticised but as time has passed and the revelations have come out, many people have come to understand her actions.

She has revealed that she got the idea after seeing Geldof rip up a photo of the cast of the hit movie Grease.

Back in 1978, The Boomtown Rats knocked Grease off the top of the charts with their song Rat Trap.

Geldof celebrated by ripping up a photo of Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta during his performance on Top of the Pops.

O’Connor said: “That was fantastic because we all hated the song from Grease.

“So when he came on he ripped up the picture, that’s what inspired me to rip up the Pope’s picture.”

She made the comments as part of the documentary ‘Citizens of Boomtown’. The two part series sees stars discuss the influence the Boomtown Rats had from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.