ACCLAIMED Cork singer-songwriter Cathal Coughlan has died, aged 61.
Originally hailing from Glounthaune in East Cork, the much loved musician has made a lasting impression on the Irish music scene with his solo material, as well as his work with bands Microdisney, Fatima Mansions and more recently Telefís.
Coughlan died on 18 May, having “slipped away peacefully in hospital after a long illness”, according to a statement released today.
Coughlan first launched into the post-punk Irish music scene in Cork in the 1980s, forming Microdisney alongside Sean O'Hagan. They would go on to be one of few Irish bands in the 1980s to achieve international success, even supporting David Bowie in 1988.
The duo quickly became a five-piece after moving to London, and the band released five albums, to much critical acclaim. In 1985, their album The Clock Comes Down The Stairs reached number one in the UK Indie Chart, and their 1987 single "Town to Town" reached the Irish top 40, and number 55 in the UK charts.
After the breakup of Microdisney, Coughlan went on to start Fatima Mansions in 1988, producing another five albums that also garnered much success.
They entered the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart in 1992 with a reworked version of Bryan Adams' song "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You", and opened the European leg of U2’s Zoo TV Tour in the same year.
Coughlan also went on to have a very successful solo career, releasing six albums, the most recent of which, Songs of Co-Aklan, was only released last year.
It contained contributions from many of the musicians he had worked with over the previous forty years, including Microdisney co-founder Sean O’Hagan.
Earlier this year, Coughlan released debut album “a hAon” with newly formed Telifís, a duo comprised of himself and Irish producer Jacknife Lee.
Coughlan is survived by his wife, Julie, and a memorial ceremony will be held amongst close friends and family in the coming weeks.