Singer Sinead O’Connor will marry therapist Barry Herridge in Las Vegas today – after a whirlwind romance prompted by an email.
The controversial singer will celebrate her fourth wedding on the day of her 45th birthday.
“This will be my dream wedding,” said O’Connor who launched a search for love on Twitter and on Ireland’s Late Late TV show last summer.
“Myself and Barry decided to get married in Las Vegas because we wanted a proper rock ‘n’ roll wedding,” O’Connor told the Irish Independent.
“I’ve been married before, but I’ve never had my dream wedding in Vegas. I wanted to do it there because it’s casual, quick, not religious and, most of all, very romantic.”
Herridge grabbed O’Connor’s attention when he wrote to her via email.
The singer received hundreds of letters from wannabe suitors but only Herridge did enough to earn a date.
“Barry sent me this wonderful email, which just took my heart away. It had to be him,” added O’Connor.
Herridge told the paper how he won Sinead’s heart. He said, “I was getting off a train at Connolly Station one morning when I saw this woman acting strangely on the platform.
“At first I didn’t know what she was doing, and then I realised she was playing hopscotch. It wasn’t Sinead but a business woman in a suit and in her 30s, just having a bit of fun.
“I wondered why more women that age weren’t doing the same thing? And it struck me that this was exactly what Sinead was doing with her search for love, having fun, and I told Sinead about this woman in my first email.”
The couple first met when Sinead invited Barry on a date in a Dublin coffee shop last August.
“It was so wonderful meeting Sinead. We were supposed to go out for dinner but we ended up talking and talking for hours and hours in the coffee shop. I really didn’t want to let her go home,” said Herridge.
O’Connor told the paper that the feeling was mutual with the therapist proposing soon after.
“I had no intention of getting married again but Barry was extremely persuasive,” she said. “He proposed to me on every single date we have had since August. He is extremely persuasive - and other unprintable things.”
Herridge, who counsels adolescents with addiction problems, first took an interest in Sinead’s love-life when he read accounts of the break-up of her relationship with musician Steve Cooney last year.
“I hadn’t met Sinead at the time but I felt something very, very strong,” he said.
“I love Sinead more than anyone I have ever met, or anybody I will ever meet. I am going to look after her.”
O’Connor has appealed for understanding from the media ahead of the wedding ceremony.
“Technically speaking, this is my third marriage as myself and Steve only had a blessing, not a legal ceremony, but I would really appreciate this time if people could be kind and not nasty. Good wishes would be greatly appreciated for two people who really deserve the happiness they bring each other,” she said.
“Early marriage is a vulnerable time and the behaviour of the Irish media when I was previously married provided insurmountable pressure.”
According to the paper, O’Connor and Herridge will be the only people at their ‘drive-thru’ wedding in Las Vegas, aside from the witnesses provided.
“People always complain, ‘you never invited me to your wedding’, but I prefer casual weddings. I’m so happy,” she said.