By Andrea Magrath

Radiant: Sinead O'Connor glowed with happiness as she married Barry Herridge in Las Vegas... but she looked much different emerging from her house not long after announcing the union had ended after just 16 days

She looked radiant, on top of the world and very pretty in her long strapless pink dress as she married for the fourth time in Las Vegas.

But not long after announcing that the union had come to an end after just 16 days, Sinead O'Connor emerged from her house looking tired, stressed and grey-haired.

Gone was the pretty frock and instead she came to the door in nothing but a towel before hurriedly changing into a T-shirt and jeans.

Over before it started: Sinead was snapped at the door of her home in Bray in a bath towel, after admitting her marriage begun to unravel within three hours of the ceremony

The singer announced on Boxing Day that her 'dream' fourth marriage, to youth counsellor Barry Herridge, had ended after just 16 days.

The 45-year-old revealed on her website that the marriage was in trouble just three hours after the Las Vegas ceremony, when people close to her 38-year-old husband tried to ‘kybosh’ it.

But despite the brevity of the union, it could take years for the marriage to be legally dissolved, with Irish law requiring a four-year separation.

Wedded bliss: Sinéad announced the end of her 16-day marriage this week, however according to Irish law a divorce will only be granted after a four-year separation

Sinéad posted a statement on her personal website stating that she had decided to end the marriage on Christmas Eve after just seven days of domesticity.

She wrote: ‘There was intense pressure placed upon him by certain people in his life, not to be involved with me. These were people who had never met me but had formed opinions of me based on what they read about “Sinéad O’Connor” in the media, etc’.

But she admitted that her husband had also been very upset by a ‘wild ride’ they took to try and buy marijuana on their wedding night, as she doesn’t drink alcohol.

‘My husband was enormously wounded and very badly affected by that experience and also by the attitude of those close to him toward our marriage,’ she said.

Miss O’Connor’s and Mr Herridge flew out to Las Vegas on her 45th birthday and married that day.

But despite its apparent spontaneity, the couple will now have to wait four years to legally end their brief union.

The Little White Wedding chapel confirmed to the Mail that the marriage certificate the couple signed was a legally binding contract.

Brief: The 45-year-old singer revealed on her website that the marriage was in trouble just three hours after the Las Vegas ceremony, when people close to her 38-year-old husband tried to ‘kybosh’ it

According to a staff member, both Miss O’Connor and Mr Herridge were made aware of the implications of the ceremony before they tied the knot. And a spokesman from the Las Vegas church confirmed that the couple would have to take legal action to dissolve the wedding.

She said: ‘All of our ceremonies are legally binding. Occasionally, we do get couples who renew their vows. But they are the only two types of service that we do.

We can’t comment on any individual weddings but all the processes are legally binding. They are made aware of that when they decide to marry with us.’

Marianna Fritz, a consultant with Irish Divorce Services, said the couple would be forced to wait at least four years before applying to terminate the marital contract.

‘It doesn’t matter whether you get married in Las Vegas, Australia or Ireland – the procedure is the same,’ said Miss Fritz.

‘First, they must be separated for four years and only then can they apply to have the marriage dissolved and, at that point, it is relatively straightforward.’

Alternatively, Miss O’Connor and Mr Herridge could apply to have the marriage annulled – that is, to have it declared legally void, as if it had never happened. But according to Miss Fritz this is an extremely difficult and costly procedure.

‘They are entitled to apply, but with an annulment, you must use solicitors which is an extremely costly avenue. It is also very difficult, as there are only three, maybe four conditions that a court will accept. If either party is intoxicated or under the influence of any substances. Or if they can prove that they aren’t in a sane state of mind. Or if one of the parties is homosexual.

‘Basically, once the couple have consummated the marriage it is not easy to have it annulled.’

Miss O’Connor was not at her seafront home in Bray, Co. Wicklow, yesterday. However, she posted a humorous message on her front door stating: ‘Dearest loving hacks. This is your quote: rock’n’roll.’

The wedding to Mr Herridge was to be the fairy-tale ending to the singer’s search for love, which she launched last summer across Twitter and on The Late Late Show, even attending the annual matchmaking festival in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare.

'Wild ride': O'Connor revealed a 'wild' journey she took on their wedding night in search of marijuana 'as she doesn't drink' wounded her husband

Then the singer shocked the nation by writing a series of candid blogs on her website, detailing what she was looking for in a man.

She wrote in September that she was in ‘desperate need of a very sweet, sex-starved man,’ but specified that he ‘must be no younger than 44, must not be named Brian or Nigel, must be blind enough to think I’m gorgeous, has to be employed and he has to like his mother.’

Inundated with thousands of replies, Miss 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, north Dublin, but now living in nearby Raheny, Mr Herridge revealed the contents of the email that kickstarted the relationship.

‘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 Sinéad but a businesswoman in a suit and in her 30s, just having a bit of fun.’

Legally binding: A spokesperson for the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas confirmed that the couple would have to take legal action to dissolve the wedding

He added: ‘I wondered why more women that age weren’t doing the same thing. And it struck me that this was exactly what Sinéad was doing with her search for love, having fun, and I told Sinéad about this woman in my first email.’

The story struck a chord with Miss O’Connor, who invited the paediatric psychotherapist out on a date last August. A coffee shop on Dublin’s South William Street was the setting for their first face-to-face meeting and it was love at first sight.

On December 7, the couple announced their intention to marry, using the Today FM Breakfast Show to get the happy news out to the nation.

The singer kept the happy news quiet when she appeared on the Ian Dempsey programme the previous day, telling him she had no gossip to share. But Barry rang the show on Wednesday morning to let the cat out of the bag.

Dempsey wrote on his Twitter page: ‘So Sinéad O’Connor was holding back yesterday. Boyfriend Barry Herridge got back to us today to reveal that they will wed tomorrow. ‘And it’s Sinéad’s birthday tomorrow too. Congrats to them both. And Sinéad’s new album is sounding great too.’

Annulment unlikely: Divorce specialists say only three or four conditions will be accepted by a court in order to grant a costly annulment and if the marriage is consummated it is highly unlikely

But by St Stephen’s Day, the controversial singer was composing a letter to break the news of her fourth marriage’s failure – to forestall, she said, another version leaking out.

She said she had decided to split with Mr Herridge as she couldn’t stand to see his life and career ruined through his association with her.

‘It became apparent to me that if he were to stay with me he would be losing too much to bear. And that being with me was not going to serve him positively, career wise or any other wise.’

She added; ‘I saw his life leave him because of how people close to him reacted. And I can’t take anyone’s life. And a woman wants to be a joy to her husband. So, you love someone? Set them free. He is a wonderful man. I love him very much. I’m sorry I’m not a more regular woman.’

She also vowed not to let her latest failed relationship get her down. ‘The marriage was 16 days. We lived together for 7 days only. Until Xmas eve. And we haven’t been awful to each other. I am in a good place in life. And happy. As my good friend said “Well, at least you got married in Vegas in a pink Cadillac! Can’t get more Rock’n’Roll than that.”’

Loves: O'Connor married friend musician Steve Cooney last year and her first husband John Reynolds (right) is father to oldest son Jake

Another big love: Although Sinead and Frank Bonadio were only together for just over a year, they had a child together, son Yeshua

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