Sinead O’Connor announced on Boxing Day that her fourth marriage to youth counselor Barry Herridge had ended after just 16 days.
Sinead O’Connor, 45, revealed on her website that the marriage was in trouble just three hours after the Las Vegas ceremony, when people close to Barry Herridge, 38, tried to “kybosh” it.
Despite the brevity of the union, it could take years for the marriage to be legally dissolved, with Irish law requiring a four-year separation.
Sinéad O’Connor posted a statement on her personal website stating that she had decided to end the marriage on Christmas Eve after just seven days of domesticity.
The Irish singer wrote: “There was intense pressure placed upon him by certain people in his life, not to be involved with me. These were people who had never met me but had formed opinions of me based on what they read about <<Sinéad O’Connor>> in the media, etc.”
Sinead O’Connor admitted that her husband had also been very upset by a “wild ride” they took to try and buy mar**uana on their wedding night, as she doesn’t drink alcohol.
“My husband was enormously wounded and very badly affected by that experience and also by the attitude of those close to him toward our marriage,” the singer said.
Sinead O’Connor’s and Barry Herridge flew out to Las Vegas on her 45th birthday and married that day.
The Little White Wedding chapel confirmed that the marriage certificate the couple signed was a legally binding contract.
According to a staff member, both Sinead O’Connor and Barry Herridge were made aware of the implications of the ceremony before they tied the knot. And a spokeswoman from the Las Vegas church confirmed that the couple would have to take legal action to dissolve the wedding.
The spokeswoman said: “All of our ceremonies are legally binding. Occasionally, we do get couples who renew their vows. But they are the only two types of service that we do. We can’t comment on any individual weddings but all the processes are legally binding. They are made aware of that when they decide to marry with us.”
Marianna Fritz, a consultant with Irish Divorce Services, said the couple would be forced to wait at least four years before applying to terminate the marital contract.
“It doesn’t matter whether you get married in Las Vegas, Australia or Ireland – the procedure is the same,” said Marianna Fritz.
“First, they must be separated for four years and only then can they apply to have the marriage dissolved and, at that point, it is relatively straightforward.”
Alternatively, Sinead O’Connor and Barry Herridge could apply to have the marriage annulled – that is, to have it declared legally void, as if it had never happened. But according to Marianna Fritz this is an extremely difficult and costly procedure.
“They are entitled to apply, but with an annulment, you must use solicitors which is an extremely costly avenue. It is also very difficult, as there are only three, maybe four conditions that a court will accept. If either party is intoxicated or under the influence of any substances. Or if they can prove that they aren’t in a sane state of mind. Or if one of the parties is homosexual.
“Basically, once the couple have consummated the marriage it is not easy to have it annulled,” she said.