Republic of Ireland news

Tributes to Cork post-punk artist Cathal Coughlan following death

 Cathal Coughlan
Paul Ainsworth

CORK musician Cathal Coughlan has been described as "one of Ireland’s great maverick talents" following his death at 61.

The singer with post-punk outfit Microdisney, and later Fatima Mansions, died last Wednesday, his family revealed.

A statement said the artist "slipped away peacefully in hospital after a long illness".

Cathal and Microdisney partner and guitarist Sean O'Hagan formed the band in 1980 before going on to sign with legendary London independent record label Rough Trade Records three years later.

The pair's third album, The Clock Comes Down The Stairs, released in 1985, went on to top the UK Indie Chart while their biggest hit song, Town to Town, reached number 55 in the UK Singles Chart.

During the peak of their 1980s popularity Microdisney supported David Bowie in London.

The pair split in 1988 before reforming 30 years later in 2018 for a series of shows, including in their home city of Cork.

That same year, Microdisney were awarded the inaugural Trailblazer Award by the Irish Music Rights Organisation in partnership with Dublin's National Concert Hall for The Clock Comes Down The Stairs.

Editor of Irish music magazine Hot Press, Niall Stokes, was among those to pay tribute.

"Cathal was one of Ireland’s great maverick talents," he said.

"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."

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