Archive for fatima mansions

Cathal Coughlan (1961-2022)

Posted in Music with tags , , on June 1, 2022 by Fanning Sessions

cathal coughlan (c) bleddyn butcher

We were shocked and very much saddened at the news last week of the death of Cathal Coughlan. As religious Dave Fanning listeners in our younger years, Microdisney were omni present. We can still hear Dave naming with gusto the 1984 compilation album of their early material. Whilst in London in late 1989 we read incendiary reviews of The Fatima Mansions in Time-Out and decided to investigate. Needless to say, Cathal and the Fatima Mansions lived up to their billing. Over the subsequent years there were further Mansions and solo Cathal shows including a Cork City of Culture commission ‘Flannery’s Mounted Head’. Fast forward to 2018 and the excitement of the Microdisney reunion at the National Concert Hall followed a year later by the final show in Cyprus Avenue, there were so many memorable moments. The recent burst of creative activity disguised the fact that Cathal was not well and rendered last week’s news even harder to accept. As is our wont we turned to the radio for solace. This post will attempt to gather and list some of the tributes we found. For now it is a work in progress, so far we have listened to shows from Tom Dunne, Dan Hegarty, John Creedon, Cathal Murray, Dave Fanning, Gideon Coe and Vanessa Monaghan who interviewed Elvera Butler. A question posed on Twitter turned up many more which we are slowly working our way through and hope to add here. To lead off however, who better than Paul McDermott, producer of ‘Iron Fist in Velvet Glove – the story of Microdisney’ and podcast ‘To Here Knows When’ which dedicated an episode to Cathal’s album ‘Black River Falls‘.

Michael Carr (Select Irish, 96FM) with Paul McDermott

To Here Knows When – Great Irish Albums Revisited

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

Paul Mc Dermott is no stranger round these parts, he is the man behind a series of excellent radio documentaries on Microdisney, Stump, Finbarr Donnelly and Michael O’Shea. Paul’s latest project is a podcast ‘To Here Knows When – Great Irish Albums Revisited‘ looking at the making of iconic Irish albums with one of the creators. The first episode featured Paul Page of Whipping Boy on their album ‘Heartworm‘ which has just been rereleased in an expanded edition by Needle Mythology (with new sleeve note by Colm O’Callaghan of The Blackpool Sentinel). Episode 2 looked at the Toasted Heretic album ‘Another Day, Another Riot‘ with Julian Gough which was also recently rereleased in digital form. We’re not big on podcasts here but Paul is on a one man mission to change that, both episodes were fantastic listens offering new detail on the recording of the albums and providing insight how the artists now feel about their creations at a 25 year remove. Episode 3 will feature Cathal Coughlan on ‘Viva Dead Ponies’ by Fatima Mansions which is also sure to be essential listening. We wish Paul the best of luck with the new venture and look forward to many more episodes.

Update: Adding Tom Dunne interview on the Newstalk Sean Moncrief show.

Episode 1: Paul Page (Whipping Boy)

Episode 2: Julian Gough (Toasted Heretic)

Episode 3: Cathal Coughlan (Fatima Mansions)

Episode 4: Shane O’Neill (Blue In Heaven)

Episode 5: David Long (Into Paradise)

Paul McDermott interview (21st Sep 2021)

Cathal Coughlan (1992 Interview)

Posted in Music with tags , , on April 14, 2013 by Fanning Sessions


Here’s an clip of a 1992 Fanning interview with Cathal Coughlan of The Fatima Mansions shortly before their Rock Garden gig in Dublin. Up for discussion are; supporting U2, provoking a reaction in Germany, irony in lyrics, ‘Valhalla Avenue’, a holiday record, the film festival in Cork, music for a Channel 4 documentary, ‘Paper Thin Hotel‘ missing out to ‘A Singer Must Die’ on a Leonard Cohen tribute album. Thanks to Brand New Retro for the NME photo, check out full article here. Update: an eagle eyed reader informs me that the year was 1992 so corrected the year.

Cathal Coughlan (1992)

Fatima Mansions (1990 Interview)

Posted in Fanning with tags , , on February 14, 2011 by Fanning Sessions


I was lucky enough in late 1989 to see Fatima Mansions in a venue I can no longer remember the name of, behind a pub in London and it was one of the best gigs I have ever seen. I thought Cathal Coughlan was going to explode, he was putting so much effort into singing or was it howling the lyrics. This interview with Dave Fanning was recorded on 19th Feb 1990, almost 21 years ago to the day. Fatima Mansions was of course Cathal Coughlan’s post Microdisney venture and their first album ‘Against Nature‘ had been released in September the previous year. Thank you Micheal Mee for sharing.

Cathal Coughlan Interview (19.2.1990)