Sinead Takes On Virgin Mary, Plans Tour With Chieftains

Sinead O'Connor arrives on movie screens in New York and Los Angeles this weekend as the Virgin Mary in one of the more controversial films of the year, Neil Jordan's black comedy "The Butcher Boy".

Jordan, who also directed "The Crying Game" and "Interview With The Vampire," also tapped Stephen Rea and teenage newcomer Eamonn Owens to round out that cast. Owens plays Francis Brady, a 12-year-old whose tragic life in small-town 1960s Ireland leads him into a world of fantasy and murder. O'Connor's Mary is the central figure of those fantasies, and provides comfort for Owens' character.

The film, which opens nationwide on April 17, has struck a little too close to home for some in the wake of the recent Jonesboro, Arkansas massacre. "Newsweek" magazine pulled its review of the film from this week's issue because, with the Jonesboro story on the front page, editors felt it would be in bad taste.

O'Connor, of course, is not abandoning her music career. In addition

to a run on this summer's Guinness Fleadh festival, the singer is also planning a tour of her own with the Chieftains. The singer has laid out a tentative itinerary, but hasn't firmed up the dates yet. It looks like she will hit the road in early to mid June and will tour through the end of the month.