Sinead O’Connor Cancels All Gigs After Revealing Her Son is Suffering with a Life-Threatening Illness

Sinead O'Connor performing at the Barbican Centre

Sinead O’Connor has cancelled all of her remaining gigs this year after revealing that she will need to take time off in order to care for her son, who is suffering from a “life-threatening medical condition.” 

The singer/songwriter alerted her fans to the changes in her schedule via a lengthy post on Facebook, noting that her son will “definitely survive” his condition if given the proper care and supervision. She also revealed that she has been suffering from “chronic gynecological problems” that also require medical treatment, which she will need to undertake in order to support her child through his own illness.

Read the post in full below:

To Whom It May Concern Regarding My Cancellation Of Shows For The Remainder Of 2015

Please accept my sincerest apologies.

My child has been suffering with a life-threatening medical condition since early March 2015. It is the type of condition my child will definitely survive, if correct care is taken and is supervised by myself. Otherwise there is no guarantee.

That is the plain truth.

Needless to say, this has been and remains a severe family crisis. Like any mother, I have been up all day and night every day and night since I found out my child is suffering. Studying and learning all I can so that I might help not only the suffering child, but those of my other children who are naturally affected by the situation.

As an aside, I have had chronic gynaecological problems over the last three years due to ageing and baby-making (not in that order, thank God). I blogged extensively about it all the way through, as hardcore fans will know, in my daily tour diaries.

However bad the situation was, I never let it prevent me from performing, as anyone can see from those blogs (which are actually quite funny and well worth a read, even if I do say so myself).

I underwent the last of three surgeries which took place in the space of nine months to correct the condition when it worsened badly, back in January 2015.

The surgery was deliberately and responsibly timed by myself so that the condition would not interfere with the year’s touring schedule.

The first of those surgeries was in April 2014. The second in October 2014. Both were unsuccessful. The third surgery was perfectly successful. The condition was cured, and touring was not a problem.

But seven nights before I arrived in Las Vegas for the Conor McGregor fight, my child took a turn for worst, and I became frightened.

There are not many services or much support for children and families in this situation in Ireland. So you’re on you’re own when the shit’s hitting the fan.

When one is worried about someone who came from one’s womb, one’s womb can behave strangely. So since the night my child took the turn, my womb won’t stop bleeding because I am so worried about my child and about how we go forward as a family when my child’s condition means I have to cease touring for the foreseeable future.

I have been instructed by my child’s doctor not to work until my child has fully recovered.

Since I am no longer physically or mentally or emotionally capable of focussing on anything but my child’s recovery, and on the massive changes in our lives which are now necessary for me to make in order to maintain the wellbeing of all my children, I have also been separately instructed by my own doctor, not to work.

I have been advised that the only solution to the menstrual situation is to have a hysterectomy, which would clearly be better done sooner rather than later if I’m to manage so much as making it up the road to Tesco, never mind keeping my children safe.

As a single mother I have neither asked for, nor been offered financial support from any of the fathers of my children in the entire 28 years that I have been a mother. In fact far from it, I have given three of them hundreds of thousands of hard earned euro, over the years.

So as an almost 49 year old sole breadwinner, facing the need to cancel these shows and the South American shows has been the utmost stressful experience of my life, and to be honest I’m very proud of myself for being so strong. Mothers do find strengths they didn’t know they had, when they know their children are in danger.

Why am I nervous? Because people don’t buy records any more. They steal them. The result is that literally the only way musicians are able to feed their families is by touring. If we can’t tour, a day may come when we can’t feed our children.

Even elderly artists are only five shows away from hunger. This is why its so horrible that people don’t pay for records.

Musicians can’t go into stores and steal food. But our food is being stolen from us and we’re tramping the roads to the extent where it becomes cruelty, and all the time we’re only breaking even. Our savings oddly, neither go up nor down. They never change by a cent.

(As an aside, does anyone else think its odd that Amy Winehouse was only worth 6 million quid when she died? Do the maths. Have a look at the points in her publishing and recording contracts. How many records did she sell? How many tours was she marched out to do out despite being clearly unwell? If you did it to an animal you’d be locked up. Show me the money, as the lovely Cuba would say).

I, like all musicians, work to pay my overheads every year. All of which are work related.

Ironically. I wouldn’t need to work if I wasn’t working.

I work not only because I love live performance, but so that I can keep what little is left of what I saved from the 90s safe, because I need to raise my children until the 8 and a half year old is at least eighteen.

Like everyone in the music business, I’ve been ripped off and swindled left, right and centre. I consequently do not at all have the kind of money people think I might have.

Also you only make money in the music business if you don’t rip up pictures of popes. They don’t play you on the radio where it matters, when you’re a punk and not a pop star.

What I’m trying to say is, I wouldn’t have cancelled shows, thereby placing myself and my children and grandchild, and possibly some other people at enormous financial risk and loss, if not for the fact that my child might have lost his life if I did not obey the doctor’s orders.

No one can manage anything at all if they are heavily bleeding for five days every nine days without cessation. So I can’t ignore my own doctor’s orders either.

It doesn’t please me or suit me at all to let people down. I’m told it will be impossible for me to be employed as a live performer for three years now because I have cancelled the tour.

So be it.

My lovely child is priceless.

And so therefore am I, because he needs me more than anyone else does.

O’Connor originally cited exhaustion as the reasoning behind her pulling out of her scheduled performance at the Galway International Arts Festival, but has now made it clear that she will not be staging any more live shows for the duration of 2015.

Since making the announcement, Sinead has received an outpouring of well wishes from her fans, who have stated that they support her decision to pull out of her scheduled musical commitments.