Sinead O'Connor jets to Las Vegas for her dream wedding
It will be a proper rock 'n' roll wedding. Singer Sinead O'Connor will wed today for the fourth time.
She will tie the knot with husband number four, therapist Barry Herridge (38), on her 45th birthday at her "dream wedding" in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Posing exclusively for the Irish Independent as they jetted out from Dublin Airport yesterday, Ms O'Connor said: "Myself and Barry decided to get married in Las Vegas because we wanted a proper rock 'n' roll wedding.
"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."
The wedding to Mr Herridge is the fairytale ending to the singer's search for love, which she launched last summer across Twitter and on the 'Late, Late Show'. Inundated with thousands of replies, Ms O'Connor selected just one man to go on a date with, her future husband.
"Barry sent me this wonderful email, which just took my heart away. It had to be him," said the mother of four.
Originally from Donaghmede but now living in Raheny in Dublin, Mr Herridge revealed to the Irish Independent the contents of the message that had won Ms O'Connor's heart.
"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," Mr Herridge told the Irish Independent.
The story hit home with Ms O'Connor, who invited the therapist out on a date last August.
A coffee shop on South William Street was the setting for their first face-to-face meeting.
"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 Mr Herridge.
According to Ms O'Connor the feeling was mutual, with the therapist proposing soon after.
"I had no intention of getting married again but Barry was extremely persuasive. He proposed to me on every single date we have had since August. He is extremely persuasive -- and other unprintable things," she joked of the HSE worker, who counsels adolescents with addiction problems in the city centre.
A lifelong fan of the singer, Mr Herridge said he realised the extent of his feelings for Ms O'Connor when he read reports of her previous marriage to musician Steve Cooney in July 2010, who she revealed to the Irish Independent she had split from in April this year. "I hadn't met Sinead at the time but I felt something very, very strong," he said.
Mr Herridge said the fact that Ms O'Connor had three failed marriages had not put him off proposing.
"I love Sinead more than anyone I have ever met, or anybody I will ever meet. I am going to look after her," he said.
However, the singer said she was "concerned" at media reaction following the negative reaction to her marriage to Mr Cooney.
"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.
"Early marriage is a vulnerable time and the behaviour of the Irish media when I was previously married provided insurmountable pressure," she said.
The couple have no time for a honeymoon as Ms O'Connor is due back in Dublin this Saturday to attend the aftershow party for a concert marking the 50th anniversary celebrations of Amnesty International.
Ms O'Connor and Mr 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 added.