- 23 May 22
"Cathal was one of Ireland’s great maverick talents," Niall Stokes comments
Cathal Coughlan – famed for his work as a solo artist, as well as with Microdisney, Fatima Mansions, and Telefís – has passed away, aged 61.
In a statement released today, it was announced that Coughlan died in hospital on May 18, following a long illness.
"Cathal was one of Ireland’s great maverick talents," Hot Press editor Niall Stokes comments. "He emerged in the post-punk era with the formation of Microdisney – and it is fair to say that nothing that he did musically, ever since, was less than creatively challenging and worth hearing. Throughout his career, there was an ongoing sense of musical adventurousness, and an unwillingness to toe any line – whether to do with fad, fashion, politics or propriety.
"The title of Microdisney’s debut album We Hate You South African Bastards was typically uncompromising. ‘Town to Town’ was the closest they came to having a big hit. But none of that really mattered to Cathal. He just wanted to make great and enduring music – and whether with Microdisney, Fatima Mansions or under his own name, he did just that. One of Cork’s finest, he will be greatly missed."
Coughlan, who originally hailed from Cork, released his most recent solo album, Song of Co-Aklan, in 2021 – featuring contributions from many of the musicians he had worked with over the previous forty years, including Sean O’Hagan. More recently, he release a hAon, the debut album from Telefís, the duo Coughlan had formed with Irish producer Jacknife Lee.
In 2018, Microdisney received the inaugural IMRO NCH Trailblazer Award – which celebrates seminal albums by iconic Irish musicians – for their classic 1985 album, The Clock Comes Down The Stairs.
Coughlan is survived by his wife, Julie.
Watch Cathal Coughlan's powerful rendition of 'Come Here My Love' – shared as part of Hot Press' Rave On, Van Morrison series – below: