Sinead's reaction to the article in the The Irish Sunday Independent


Once again The Irish Sunday Independent whom I used to write for ( and who never offered to pay me a penny for my work) and in particular Niamh Horan, of whom it has been said "her affair with a certain married show biz columnist is the worst kept secret in Dublin" have decided to spread untruths about me and do damage to me at a time when they know I am extremely unwell.

This is the modus operandai of this paper and in particular this woman , who seems quite bizarre in her obsession  with me.

Really, a good therapist would not go astray, though whomever found themselves unlucky enough to be employed as Ms Horan's therapist would certainly have their work cut out for them and need eyes in the back of their head.

This is the same woman who tweeted on the day Whitney Houston died tweeted that it would be better if Christina Aguillera died.

The same woman who only a fortnight after Van Morrison's little baby tragically died, wrote a damning and insulting article about Van, mentioning the difficult events surrounding the birth of his lost daughter and causing enormous disgust amongst Irish people, at the idea such an agony as the death of his baby should be exploited in order to hurt Mr Morrison.

This is a paper which sees light in certain artists and because those working for the paper serve darkness they do their best to block our light with lies. And attack us when they know us to be at our most vulnerable, and attack our innocent loved ones. I might add.. Without ever having the courage to say to our faces the lies they print from behind  their cowardly desks. But.. We know where they drink. So it's cool.

Now. I would like to address this week's set of lies by Ms Horan. And set the record straight as to why I have ended the working relationship between myself and Fachtna O'Ceallaigh, who was my manager until 2 weeks ago.

It is entirely inaccurate to state that that the split between myself and Fachtna was the result of any email I sent. It was I who ended the working arrangement, in a perfectly reasoned email for perfectly poignant reasons.

It is also inaccurate to imply I cried in the Nothing Compares 2 U video over Fachtna.

I cried upon singing the lines "all the flowers that you planted Mama in the back yard all died when you went away".

I was thinking of my mother, who had died five years previously in a car crash. I am always with my mother when I sing that song and that is why I love it.

It is of course accurate to state Fachtna is the best music BUSINESS manager alive.

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

While  is accurate to state that the business end of matters was set up most excellently, it is also accurate to state that my widely documented and extreme illness of the last nine months, which involved a suicide attempt on January 10, 2012 was not taken into consideration at any stage during recent scheduling of my promo tours or concert tours concerning my most recent album.

The promotion and concert tours ran alongside each other. That is to say promotion was done while on tour and also between concert dates there were trips  abroad for press and TV and radio.

These schedules can be acquired from One Little Indian Records if anyone wishes to see them. Ask for the detailed daily schedules along with the regular tour and promo schedules. Ask in minute detail what exactly happened work wise on each day I was not in Ireland.  Ask what was scheduled that didn't happen. And why. Then confirm with me as to the why.
This you may do by tweeting me at @sineadoconnor16

In the past before this album, no scheduling was ever set without having first being run by me.

For some reason this time I was only consulted about matters of scheduling approximately 8% of the time.

I did not feel the need to check scheduling as I assumed my obvious extreme illness would be taken into account since the scheduling was being set whilst I was right in the deep thick  of the illness and even in the days immediately after my suicide attempt.

Since the suicide attempt it is widely known to all who know me that I have been extremely frighteningly unwell.

It has taken until last week for me to be able to find the space to work with the right  doctor and the right medications so that I can begin to get better.

It was well known to my manager that a  major symptom in my illness was a total in-ability to sleep naturally and an immunity to sleeping tablets

This is an impossible thing to cure when your schedule has been set without your knowledge in a manner that does not allow you time to get proper medical help.

Consequently, under doctors orders I have had to use other medications for sleep while promoting my record. A singer can absolutely not perform or operate without proper sleep. A singer's body is her instrument.

How ever these are medications which should not be taken for more than a few weeks at a time, but because of scheduling I have under doctors orders, had to use these medications for the last six months.

It is accurate to state that when unable to manage I was treated inconsiderately and even angrily.

Schedules were set without having been run by me, while I was in the midst of a very serious breakdown. I was treated as if it was my own fault I wasn't managing and I was responsible for it.

Expectations of me were unreasonable in my opinion and even at times inhumane. And everyone ( apart from my band) working for me remained very far from presenting themselves as any kind of support either on the road or off.

Yet certain of them enjoyed making me feel like it was my fault I couldn't manage and I had it duty to 'pull myself together' for fear I would "get a bad reputation" ( Eh.. hello? I already had one thanks!)

At no stage during the six years Fachtna has been my manager, has he studied bipolar disorder or post traumatic stress disorder, which is what I have been suffering from for eight years. Every baby in the street knows about it.

On April 24, 2012 ( the day before i abandoned touring) from Munich I e-mailed Fachtna  an article about bipolar disorder and suggested it would be a good idea for him to study it. His reply was that yes it probably would be a good idea to educate himself.

In early March my tour manager when filling in my work Visa application form for the USA, stated that I had never suffered from a mental illness.

This resulted in my being called back to the American Embassy in London and a long pause being put upon the granting of my work Visa.

The people at the American Embassy in London could not possibly have been any kinder to me. I have to state they gave me more care concerning my illness than any one in my employ.

Because every baby in the street knows I suffer from bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress disorder, and that there was a suicide attempt not long before the visa application was made, the people at the embassy knew it too. And wanted to know why I had lied in my application for a working Visa.

They also wanted clarification as to whether or not I was being taken care of properly, medically speaking, which I was not at that time.

I stated that it was not I who had filled in the form and that I could not understand why anyone would have filled in that form in such a way when I have had tour insurance for the last eight years which specifically covers me for bipolar disorder.

The visa was delayed while the Embassy kindly sent me to be assessed by their own doctor and it is that doctor who is now treating me.

Once again I have reason to love Americans as the kindest people on earth.

When the visa pause happened  I was made to feel by my management team that it was my fault the visa was delayed and it was because of my bad behaviour or something.  When in fact it was because my management team did not  acknowledge when filling in the form that I suffer from a serious mental illness and also post traumatic stress disorder.

That fact was utterly  unconsidered by my management team when applying for the Visa and also when setting my schedules for promoting and touring this record.

The day 'the visa thing' happened I was  very sick and very upset. Again, no one around me was kind or comforting or put an arm around me. Instead I was dealt with as if I was the cause of nothing but trouble for everyone.

For no one around me to have made it their  business to study the nature of the illness I suffer from and the nature of PTSD and take my limitations into account when setting schedules, or when I couldnt  manage punishing schedules, or when things such as the visa thing happened, is unforgivable. No matter how well business was set up. Business can't run if the artist isn't being supported and respected as a human being.

An example of the type of punishing schedule I referred to is the following after three shows in Los Angeles I had lost my voice. This was because my proper equipment was not ordered. I had only two monitors on the floor. And could not hear myself singing above the big loud  band. There were no side fills.

I managed to bluff my way through the three shows and still get good reviews, by some miracle.

When I complained that I needed the right equipment in order to do my job, certain employees around me insisted that it was my responsibility that I had lost my voice because I was not looking after myself. This was absolutely not the case. I have never in 30 years of being a singer lost my voice. I lost my voice because I had had to shout above the band because of not having the right equipment.

I was the last person considered either personally or professionally when booking equipment or dates.

I then arrived in New York JFK airport at 10:30 PM the night before my first of two shows. I was scheduled to get out of bed at 3:30 AM the day of the show to complete a day of promotion during which there would be not enough time to sleep and or prepare for the show.

When I arrived at the TV studio at 4:30 AM I could not speak nevermind sing.

I was treated angrily. I was treated again as if it was my fault that I could not sing.

I spent most of the day in the chair at a vocal specialist doctor. With tubes down my throat and really feeling quite sorry for myself.

I had the weight of the two shows to come, starting later that evening,upon my shoulders. I desparately wanted to do the show.

At no stage did anyone so much as put an arm around me.

I repeat 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 nevermind a person who you know to be in the midst of recovery from a chronic breakdown and almost death.

I do not believe that my record company, who are equally as wonderful as Fachtna when it comes to the business end of things, were asked to familiarise themselves with my medical situation and take it into account either.

I say this with great love for every person I met from the company. They are wonderful. And yes so is Fachtna. But you know what? So am I.

My record company will not have been aware that behind-the-scenes I was being treated by my management  as if I were a naughty child when I couldn't manage. Yet at the same time being offered no support not even an arm around me.

Basic equipment needs I had in order to be able to do my job were not being met despite my repeated requests. Only one small example of which is my earphones did not work for weeks despite my repeated kind requests that they  be replaced. They were replaced eight weeks after my beginning to ask. Yet when my voice was going because I could not hear myself I was being told it was my own fault and I was that I was not looking after myself.

I was also not in the end,  in charge of what songs I performed in my own sets and often had to struggle  and fight in order to include songs I wanted to perform.

I am trying to show how in many ways,my needs as a human being and an artist were not being considered by the people around me, despite how brilliantly those people performed their business tasks.

I felt strongly that I was surrounded by people who did not love or respect or care for me as a human being but were simply there to make a living from me and had no inkling or care as to what that living might cost me and my children ultimately.

In the UK in March I was booked to do five shows in one week. These shows where preceded for the most part by five hour train journeys. After these journeys enormous amounts of press and radio were done.

Then sound check and show them more interviews on the phone until 2 AM in the morning

The final show and late night of promo of that week  preceded my recent appearance on the late late show in Ireland by which time I could not speak never mind sing

The very first section  in our management agreement states that I will not be required by my manager to leave my dependent children ( aged 16, 8 and 5)  more than 10 days out of any month.

The understanding, though unwritten,  is that I only tour for 4 or 5 months of any year.

That 'ten days' agreement was broken when schedules were set  without having been run by  me which took me away from my children for far more time than ever before.

It is accurate to state that I was eager and most driven to promote and tour my record of which I am extremely proud. But I repeat that only in approximately 8% of cases was I consulted before schedules were set.

I was shocked when I found myself expected to carry out unreasonable tasks and stay sane fit and healthy, while not being given space, time, or assistance of any kind to get medical help.

I was  very shocked and wounded to the core to find myself the subject of criticism and angry complaints rather than care.

I was never told when I did anything right. And I was often told what a stress and trouble I am.

This treatment resulted in the delaying of my recovery and added enormously to my illness and in particular any suicidal feelings I had.

In New York on the day of the first show ( after the 4 30 am loss of voice at tv show) after  the vocal doctor's office, 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.

With mental illness the problem is we don't have a cast or a plasterer, or tubes. So people get annoyed with us. They think we're being difficult. And treat us accordingly.

I wanted to add the reason I became ill was because of pressure from music business people, especially Fachtna about my weight,  which was because of medication.

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.

Even when a small part of me began to ask myself if perhaps I was very sick I did not want to admit it to myself because there was such pressure for me to be skinny.

Previous to requesting a change of medication, A photographer was sent to me by Fachtna to discuss a photo session. Having spoken to Fachtna  the night before, and being informed by him that I was fat, she arrived with all kinds of examples of how she could disguise my weight  with veils and shadows.

Throughout my illness I did my best to fight it. I went endlessly to doctors and hospitals but there are so many ways that people with mental illnesses in Ireland can slip through the cracks in the system. And I kept being told mistakenly that there was no bipolar disorder when I knew in my heart and had returned in full force and worse and it had ever been by December. This is what happens when people with mental illnesses are taken of medication without proper supervision.

Frankly, over the years I've found being Sinead O'Connor an obstacle to getting help. Doctors could not get beyond what ever was in the papers about me. Would be lecturing me and treating me like a child. Or overawed. Not just treat me like an ordinary patient and deal with my symptoms.

A lot of time was wasted this last nine months and it was not that I was not crawling across cut glass all the way, trying to find help any way I could. Including the making of two very public cries for help, for which I was also treated angrily by management.

A person does not resort to making public cries for help without previously and over a long period of time,  having tried all other available options and found them not to be working.

A person would have to feel VERY alone, VERY frightened, and VERY desperate to make such public cries for help.

May I state  here that at  no stage during my illness was it offered to me by my management as a possibility that I need not go ahead with touring until I had recovered.

I was however several times told by Fachtna of his  fears that I might not go ahead with it. This amounted to pressure.

A few days previous to the European tour which I abandoned, my doctor had started me on a medication called TEGRETOL,

This medication can in some cases make bipolar symptoms worse and I was unlucky when I got worse I was told to double the dose.I then got double worse and that is why ultimately I had to come home.

The medication itself was making me worse. If I had not come home there was a very high possibility that I might have acted on a suicidal compulsion alone in some hotel room. One can google TEGRETOL in order to understand why this is the case.

We have now switched me to different medication which seems to be helping a lot but it will still be a slow process until we get levels right and I recover physically.  I am extremely tired. A symptom of bipolar disorder is the feeling that one is walking through treacle.

I have been told by my doctor that this is not the time to make big decisions. I do want to keep making music but I absolutely can never consider NOT working within the very specific and complicated limits of the two conditions I suffer from.

If I and the people around me do not work VERY carefully around the SPECIFICALLY STUDIED AND THEREFORE UNDERSTOOD LIMITS OF BIPOLAR DISORDER AND POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, things can not go well.

If I go back to music in any arena, I will have to be careful how things are set by those around me and careful that I am really being loved and respected and taken care of and that I'm not just there to pay anyone's mortgage at any cost.

I am not prepared to be prostituted because I have a gift.

I make music because I have always had these two conditions. Music has been The Holy Spirit's way of helping me. It is a present from The Holy Spirit. That is how I relate to music.

If I am going to make music in the future I will be doing so in a manner which brings peace to my life. I will not be doing anything at all which does not soothe my soul.

The holy spirit does not require me to prostitute the gift it gave me, or to prostitute myself.

I trust the holy spirit always has a plan and I know it's plans for me will always involve music and singing in one way or another.

So watch this space.


Sinead

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