Excerpt from Interview with singer Mary Coughlan -- transcript in progress

MT: It seems like you've been witness to so many major changes in Ireland: abortion, divorce... I'm wondering, what issues today do you find the most important?

MC: I still don't think it's changed very much. It's weird. It's changed for some women. As it always has in society, it has always changed for women who have education. And I feel very strongly that, you know, it1s an even bigger issue now, because it's the food you eat, you have no control over it. And it's the food you give your children, you don1t have any... there1s so much information going around, like it's even a bigger and bigger and bigger challenge even to live. And it's women again who are in a lower-income group, which is like basically organized that way. I firmly believe that there1s only a drug culture because people want it, government want it. Consciously maybe not, but they have to maintain the class system, it's there, it always has been there. So, you know, it hasn't changed for those women. It hasn't changed for, and I don't want to be saying like Ballymun or Tallacht, but I mean this is why we have Ballymuns and Tallachts -- to keep those people there, to keep them down, to keep them ill-fed, you keep them uneducated, and you give them drugs to shut them up. So it's no change. I don't think very much has changed for women in this country, except for the women who1ve always had it. And that's getting worse. It's even 10 times worse now, to be living in Tallacht than it was 6 years ago. There1s no community anymore. We've become totally homogenized. It just happened so quickly. Ireland, you know the sixties in Ireland happened in the late seventies, but then from the late seventies to now, it's just been 100 years of change have happened. And it's been by television, American culture, and the need, because you know, whatever Sinead O'Connor said, because we were famine victims, and because we'd been oppressed for so long, we had to have it. The people who have it now in Northern Ireland are keeping their own people down. But it is becoming more in the interest of corporate capitalist society to keep people at each other's throats, and to keep people down that were always down, they're getting further down, just like tigermeat. The [Celtic] Tiger feeds off the working class and the unemployed.

For more info on Mary Coughlan and her music, see the music and the arts section of the links page.