Dolores O’Riordan told to pay €6,000 over ‘air rage’ incident

Criminalising Cranberries signer would not be just as she had mental illness, judge says

Cranberries singer, Dolores O’Riordan is to escape without any criminal conviction arising from her ‘air rage’ offences at Shannon airport in November of 2014

At Ennis District Court on Wednesday, Judge Patrick Durcan said that to criminalise Ms O’Riordan would be not be just and would be unfair after concluding that she was suffering from “a severe mental illness” at the time of the incident.

During the incident at Shannon airport, Ms O’Riordan head-butted and spat in the face of a Garda on November 10th, 2014.

Judge Durcan said after reading several medical reports in the case that the mental illness that Ms O’Riordan was suffering from at the time “completely inhibited her judgement”.


He said that Ms O’Riordan (44) not remembering any of the incident shows she was incapable of understanding or recording what she was doing at the time

Judge Durcan said that Ms O’Riordan was guilty of serious assaults and of “appalling behaviour” during the incident.

He said that if she pays €6,000 towards the court poor box, he will not impose any criminal conviction and adjourned the matter for one week.

The judge said Ms O’Riordan has an unblemished record and is not being treated differently to anyone else who comes before the court on public order related charges.

Judge Durcan said that the money would go towards supporting prisoners exiting prisoner and helping them to adapt to the outside world.

Speaking outside Ennis courthouse after the sentencing, Ms O’Riordan said: “I’m glad it’s over and I want to thank the doctors who helped me to get back my health mentally.

“I’m feeling very good today, very positive about this upcoming year. I have a couple of albums coming out and I’m going to go back to work.”

When asked about the stigma over mental illness and whether it was time people spoke and opened up more, Ms O’Riordan replied “of course” and urged people suffering similar problems to “just reach out for help.”

In the case, Ms O’Riordan with an address of Friarstown, Grange, Kilmallock pleaded guilty to assaulting Garda Shane Dawson and two members of the Airport Police at Shannon, Ronan O’Reilly and Eamon Power.

In January, the court heard that an out of control Ms O’Riordan shouted “I’m an icon, I’m the Queen of Limerick” as the incident occurred.

Bill O’Donnell, solicitor for Ms O’Riordan, then said there was no intention by his client to commit the actions on the day and that she doesn’t remember what fully occurred.

He said that she has no previous convictions, had travelled around the world with her career since she was 18 and had never had an incident on a plane before November 2014.

Mr O’Donnell said that his client apologised unreservedly for her actions and Judge Durcan requested that she apologise in writing to the victims in the case.

He said that his client was “very remorseful about all of this and embarrassed over what has occurred”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times