Co-worker either really sound or totally false

Church to replace holy water with kombucha

Felix says

O'Malley denies regretting forgetting Arms Crisis actions

Funghi 'back from the brink'

RTE slams Angelus blast.... Pub conversation just like something out of Seinfeld... Guy still ashamed of failed e-mail chain-letter

An Teanga Marbh

Stickz-bitz: Regional Report

Quiz: Test your Bertie Bowl knowledge


-Van Morrison partly to blame

By Gelatinous McAnimate, Social Diarist
Funghi is sitting beside me in the Berkeley Court Hotel, sipping an Evian and preparing to tell me his shocking story. It's a difficult tale for him to relate, and one that he knows may upset his many fans, but he agrees it has to be told. There are a lot of things about this story that you might not want to believe. All of them are really true.

Back in 1996, Funghi's star was still in the ascent. He had been praised by Kerry Gardai for his help in intercepting boats laden with heroin, which smugglers were attempting to bring up the Irish coast from Spain. "Operation Flipper" was a huge success, but behind the smiles and hefty cheques from an Garda Siochana, there lay a delphine tragedy.

Unbeknownst to the sharp-eyed and vigilant Kerry Gardai, Funghi had begun siphoning off large chunks of their mutual hauls and was soon burdened with a crippling skag addiction. He calls it "an experiment that got out of control. There was nothing I wouldn't do for H. I did somersaults in the air to attract the attention of the smugglers. I swam beside their boat and sang. I - God help me! - I even balanced beachballs on my nose".

It's a shameful confession. But Funghi is quick to turn to the bright side of the story. And that's just where musical hero Van Morisson comes in.

"Van came down to see me last summer, and I can tell you now, he was appalled. We had always been close friends and he gave me the kick up the blowhole back into the studio that I desperately needed."

The result? A brand new album, "Flippin' Fantastic - A Dolphin's Cry". It is, he says, about his cry for help, a cry that surprisingly went unheard given that it is more of a high-pitched ululating screech.

Stand-out track and sure-fire hit single is "Sense of Porpoise", a haunting melody laced with oceanic vibes and plaintive snorting. "Actually, at that stage (of the recording) I had just popped out for a quick leak. The boys kept the tape running, and when we played it back, we realised we were on to something big."

Newly optimistic and 'up for it', Funghi (pictured above) will join Van Morisson on stage at the Belfast Limelight in June, where the pair will duet on Dionne Warwick's 80's classic "That's What Friends Are For". All proceeds from the charity event will go to supporting Irish dolphins recovering from heroin addiction. "That's me" concludes the chart-bound sea mammal happily.



    Back issues     Breaking news     Story archives     About