Sinéad O'Connor says she'll be quiet from now on. In a statement to fans, she announced this week that, at age 36, she's retiring from both music and public life. ''As of July 2003, I shall be retiring from the music business order to pursue a different career,'' she wrote. ''I would request that as of July, since I seek no longer to be a 'famous' person, and instead I wish to live a 'normal' life, could people please afford me my privacy.''
O' Connor wrote that she still has some pop-star work left to do before she hangs it up. ''The last recordings I will make will be (believe it or not) a track for Dolly Parton's upcoming tribute album and a track for [Irish accordionist] Sharon Shannon's forthcoming album. These will be recorded in May.
''In July I will be releasing a DVD of a live show and documentary featuring tracks from way back along with tracks from ''Sean Nos Nua'' [the album of traditional Irish songs she released last year]. The DVD will be entitled 'Goodnight, Thank You. You've Been a Lovely Audience' And so ye have.''
O'Connor has been keeping a low profile lately. Her second marriage, to English journalist Nick Sommerlad, ended last July after just 11 months, though she managed to keep the split secret until February. In recent weeks, she's canceled several European concerts, reportedly because of chronic fatigue syndrome. It's not clear which ''different career'' she plans to pursue; maybe she'll go back to the priesthood of the renegade Catholic sect that ordained her a few years back.