tough times Mary Coughlan: 'I remember my mother giving me a Valium and a glass of brandy on the morning of the wedding'
Singing legend Mary Coughlan recalls her emotional return to Galway City
SOUl singer Mary Coughlan choked up when she saw her first married home in Galway City while filming Keys To My Life.
She had run away to London aged 17 and came home and got married at 19 to schoolteacher Fintan Coughlan.
Speaking from her old house she says: "Some really happy stuff happened here and some trouble. That's life.
"I spent most of my time here on my own because not long after we moved in, Fintan and I split up.
"I didn't want to get married. I had to get married. I had a miscarriage a week before that wedding and I told my mother I did not want to get married and she said, 'It's only nerves Mary'.
"And I remember she gave me a Valium and a glass of brandy on the morning of the wedding and said, 'You will be grand'."
She also recalled that it was at this house that her father, who ruled with a rod of iron, came to apologise to her.
He had been unaware Mary had been abused by others when she was just six which led to a very rebellious streak.
"It was before my Holy Communion but I did not tell anyone. I started to be really bold.
"My father doled out punishments on a regular basis and I was just determined to do things to make myself happy. I drove them absolutely mad. I know now why but I didn't at the time.
"You have an innate sense of being bad. Everything I did was trouble.
"It was here that my father came to apologise to me for causing me any pain in my life.
"He just kind of broke down and said he was sorry that he ever laid a hand on me."
It was also while living in the house that Mary found her voice.
She adds: "There was a little jazz band playing in Galway on a Wednesday night in the Cellar Bar and I went down to see them one night and I just asked if I could do a song.
"I just started singing 'Good morning heartache, here we go again,' the Billie Holiday song, and they asked me if I wanted to come back the following Wednesday and if I knew any songs they would learn them.
"When I sang I realised I had found my voice. I found something I could do which made me feel really great."
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