Sinead O’Connor Talks Bipolar Disorder & Split With Manager

Two weeks after canceling her tour and taking her website off line, Sinead O’Connor has updated her site with a post about why she’s no longer working with her former manager and the effect he’s had on her mental health.

The Irish singer wrote that she wanted to set the record straight about her split with former manager Fachtna O’Caellaigh following a report from Ireland’s Sunday Independent about the matter. O’Connor claims the newspaper, in particular writer Niamh Noran, has “decided to spread untruths” about her, including that she cried in the “Nothing Compares 2 U” video because she was thinking of her manager. 

First of all, O’Connor praised O’Caellaigh for being “the best music business manager alive” – as far as the business side of things went during their six-year relationship.

“However being a manager involves more than setting up the business end of things in the fantastic way he absolutely did,” O’Connor wrote. “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.”

Photo: Greg Allen /
HighLine Ballroom, New York City

What did O’Caellaigh do wrong before she fired him two weeks ago? The singer blames O’Caellaigh for not taking her bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress disorder into consideration, including a January 2012 suicide attempt, when scheduling her commitments. O’Connor notes that although her schedule was usually run by her first, recently she was only consulted “approximately 8 percent of the time.” O’Connor says expectations of her overbooked schedule were unreasonable and inhumane.

“I was spoken to angrily and inconsiderately and like a child as if I had misbehaved and I was responsible for the fact that I was not able to manage what I believe to be an inhumane schedule to put a healthy person through never mind a person who you know to be in the midst of recovery from a chronic breakdown and almost death.”

When filing out her work Visa application in March to tour in the US, O’Connor claims O’Caellaigh lied and wrote that she had never suffered from a mental illness. She says she was questioned about the issue at the American Embassy in London, and then blamed for the delay by her management team.

O’Connor points a finger at the pressure from “music business people” for causing her recent mental breakdown, especially O’Caellaigh’s opinions about her weight.

“This pressure led me to ask my doctor if I might have my medications changed to medications which would not cause weight gain. When I asked I was in fact taken completely off all medication for some reason, which I could not understand. That is why I got so sick.”

Other issues include not being given the proper stage equipment and earphones, and then once again being blamed when she lost her voice, in addition to breaking the section in the management contract that states she wouldn’t be separated from her children more than 10 days out of any month.

After taking a medication called Tegretol, which O’Connor said made her bipolar symptoms worse, she said if she hadn’t called off the tour, she “might have acted on a suicidal compulsion alone in some hotel room.”

She has now switched to a different medication which “seems to be helping a lot,” adding that it will be a slow process to get the levels right and recovery physically.
O’Connor plans to continue making music because she says it is a gift from the Holy Spirit. In the future she wants to make music that bring peace to her life – as opposed to being “prostituted” because she has a gift.

To read O’Connor’s full statement visit