Sinead O'Connor Explains Canceled Tour in Open Letter

Irish singer says nixing the tour likely saved her life

May 9, 2012 2:20 PM ET
sinead o'connor
Sinead O'Connor performs at the Astra in Berlin.
Jakubaszek/Redferns via Getty Images

In a lengthy letter posted on her website, Sinead O'Connor explained the reasoning and events that led her to cancel all of her remaining 2012 tour dates. In the letter, O'Connor describes her battle with bipolar disorder and splitting with manager Fachtna O'Ceallaigh, and she suggests that nixing the tour likely saved her from another suicide attempt.

O'Connor also reveals she was prescribed a medication that can exacerbate bipolar symptoms right before her European tour. On the tour, O'Ceallaigh apparently showed little regard for O'Connor's condition, scheduling a grueling pace without first consulting the singer. O'Connor said with previous albums and tours, scheduling was first run by her. "For some reason this time I was only consulted about matters of scheduling approximately 8% of the time," she said.

Instead of receiving more help, O'Connor maintains her condition was neglected and grossly misunderstood. "I was treated as if it was my own fault I wasn't managing and I was responsible for it," she said. "Expectations of me were unreasonable in my opinion and even at times inhumane."

In March, things came to a breaking point: O'Ceallaigh claimed O'Connor had "never suffered from a mental illness" when filling out the Irish singer's U.S. work visa application. The U.S. Embassy in London brought in O'Connor for questioning, her suicide attempt earlier this year having been public news. O'Connor told the Embassy that she did not fill out the application, leading the Embassy to provide their own doctor to evaluate her. That same physician is still working with the singer.

"It is of course accurate to state Fachtna is the best music BUSINESS manager alive," O'Connor wrote. "However being a manager involves more than setting up the business end of things in the fantastic way he absolutely did. It involves caring for your client on a personal level and being above all the best friend your client has in the lonely and exploitative world of show business."

O'Connor confirmed her January 10th suicide attempt, also revealing she had considering taking her life yet again while in New York earlier this year. "I actually contemplated jumping out of a moving taxi because of the way in which I was being spoken to and treated by my management," she says.

It appears O'Connor's health is improving, and she left a few positive messages going forward. "I trust the holy spirit always has a plan and I know it's [sic] plans for me will always involve music and singing in one way or another," she said.

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