Sinead's response to Louis Walsh

'I am proud of being called difficult, Louis'

DEAR Mr Walsh,

Since you chose, with a flick of your rather limp wrist, to dismiss myself and many other people more talented than you during your interview with Barry Egan in the Sunday Independent last week, I am responding in order that you might have a taste of your own medicine. Also in the hope that you might have a good look at your soul in some mirror and, in future, not be such an utter bitch, and instead of nastiness and cruel ignorance coming out every time your mouth opens, maybe something of some actual constructive use might be done by you in interviews. God help you, Louis, but you do come across as being very stupid when you go on as you do. And it's very bad for business.

When I rang you last Monday to ask how you could know if I am professionally "difficult", you stated that you don't know, but someone told you. So what are you doing making like other people's opinions are yours? I suppose it must be the same as you making out other people's talents are somehow yours. Which we all know they are not.

You are a vampire, Louis Walsh. God of a vampire business, a fake reality. A false God with no apparent soul of your own to feed upon. And seemingly no bleedin' mind of your own either, that you might find something of your actual own rolling around in.

A very patriarchal word, "difficult". Generally used by men who expect women to "behave" in certain ways. And when we do not, these men label us with words like "difficult", "deranged" and "crazy". As if we must be crazy not to be afraid of the likes of ye. If my being difficult makes me the opposite of what you think easy is, then I am proud of the label and I want you to know something. I am way more intelligent than a bunch of chauvinists like you and your cronies could imagine a mere woman to be. So let me tell you a thing or two, bitch. And you can pass it on to those of your arse-licking deacons who don't know it . . .

We don't all want what you want, Louis. Or want what managers want from artists. Which is that we should be prepared to put our careers before even our children. Work and work at getting material 'success', despite the cost to our souls, despite the cost being our happiness. And it's a rare manager who isn't off sunning himself on some yacht while the artists are breaking down and losing their souls after the media have had their little field days with us.

Managers encourage us to sell our souls to the media to make money for them and the business of music. But they ain't yer friend when you're in the shit for what they encouraged you to do. We are not supposed to be "difficult" and have desires or plans of our own. We are supposed to "play the game", though no one actually teaches us the rules, which are, metaphorically speaking: Suck music business cock. Yes, sir, no, sir, three bags frigging full sir. And yeah, sure, I can stick me tits out a bit more and smile at the fucking camera. But I won't open my mouth, like a good little girl. I'll be the fantasy you all want me to be, pouting like I'm ready to suck all your cocks. And why will I do it? Because if I don't, so-called "powerful" people will say I am "difficult" or even "crazy". So I'm everyone's whore.

What you mean when you refer, ignorantly, to me as being "difficult" is that I wouldn't let the music business fuck me. And I wouldn't behave in such a way as to let it make money out of me either. Because I am not a vampire.

Your other ignorant remark was that I am "a waste of talent". You should ask my children if that is true. Again, you do not know me, so you presume that singing was my only talent. I am a mother first and foremost. And that is my premier talent. And no, I have not, as the music business would have liked me to, abandoned my children entirely to go in search of God-like status in a vampire world, which teaches that fame is God. I have not set that example for my children. The effect that you, Louis Walsh, have had on the young people of this country is that they are not now heard to say "I want to be a singer" but, tragically, "I want to be famous". You teach them, by your bitchiness, that having a soul will get you nowhere if you want fame when it used to be that music was about the soul. You have single-handedly taken the soul out of Irish music and danced a vampire dance upon it. Your artists can't even sing in their own accents. Because of you, scores of young people want 'fame' so much that they are prepared to humiliate themselves by coming on crap shows like the awful one you are involved with, and have themselves subjected to abuse from you and other C-list so-called 'celebs' who seem to have no ability to respect the soft hearts of people who need love so much that they think fame is how they will get it. If you gave a shite about young people for anything but the money you can make off them, you would advise them to keep their souls for themselves and not go into the business of 'fame' and the vampire world that you inhabit.

I did not leave my children, or my soul, to go after huge stardom, though I could have. Because I did not want it. I simply wanted enough money to feed my children without having to depend on a man. And to express what was in my soul. Which was the type of pain that - if you are lucky, Louis - you will never have had to experience.

Or is your bullying manner the result of some vast pain that you hide? I often wonder. There must be a heart in there somewhere. Who squashed it with cruel talk, so that you bully every time you open your mouth to speak and you devastate even the poor young creatures whom you have been so happy to exploit in the past?

You do not advertise your services well. It's all very three-star, if I may say so. Who would want to be managed by someone who badmouths his clients when he has dumped them after what he calls their sell-by date, someone who tries to fuck up their future careers by referring to them as talentless?

You say yourself that no one every answers you back when you dis them - except me. Well, have a good mouthful from me on behalf of the young people you love to badmouth: You have been a slave-driver of young people. Nothing more. Nothing less. I have seen the way you work them. And you are gonna get burned.

I did not want what managers want. Or what the record industry stands for. I don't believe in the false teachings of the music business. Because I want my soul, the only thing which actually really exists. All that you believe in will fade away, Louis. And what will you do then, when you find you've forgotten your soul in pursuit of your God-like status? Isn't that a waste of talent?

At least while I was in the business of music - which I am, thank God, no longer - I achieved my plan.

And just because it didn't fit in with what your plan would have been, had I been so low in self-esteem that I had you for a manager, that does not mean I wasted Jack Shit. And if you ask me, your plan is a lot more insane than mine ever was. And what you think is important is, in fact, bullshite.

So . . . I am proud of being a "difficult" woman, thank you. And as for wasted talent, you should take a good look in a mirror.

Sinéad O'Connor