Dolores O’Riordan death: Book of condolence opens in Limerick

Locals recall singer who brought Limerick to the global stage and forefront of world music

Dolores O’Riordan’s mother and siblings were said to be “devastated” at her death. Photograph: EPA

Dolores O’Riordan’s mother and siblings were said to be “devastated” at her death. Photograph: EPA

 

A book of condolence for Dolores O’Riordan has opened at Limerick City and County Council’s headquarters at Merchants Quay this morning.

There was widespread shock in the singer’s native Limerick following the announcement on Monday of her untimely death.

The Cranberries lead singer had been rehearsing in Limerick venue Dolan’s Warehouse last month and had been planning a home town gig, said staff.

Local singer-songwriter Brian O’Connor said he was in “shock” following news of her death.

O’Connor, a close friend of Cranberries guitarist Noel Hogan, described O’Riordan as “an icon” in the music industry. He recalled first meeting O’Riordan in the early 1990s during recording sessions with The Cranberries at Xeric Studios, Limerick.

Shocked

“I knew Dolores in the early days. I remember her being in the recording studio and she was obsessed with instruments and music. I can’t believe it. It’s absolutely shocking,” said O’Connor.

O’Riordan grew up in the tranquil rural townland of Ballybricken, 17km from Limerick city and she also lived in Patrickswell. The close-knit community of Ballybricken were rallying around O’Riordan’s “devastated” mother Eileen and six siblings.

Independent Councillor Brigid Teefy is a family friend and said “it’s just unbelievable. It’s a huge shock for all here. Dolores was such a talented lady. She was simply Dolores to everybody here. She never had any security with her; she was lovely.”

O’Riordan was also a regular on the jogging trails along the Condell Road in Limerick city. O’Riordan’s new music project D.A.R.K. had to cancel their first Limerick gig at Dolans Warehouse in 2016, citing her ongoing battle with back pain.

Neil Dolan, son of owner Mick Dolan, said everyone at the venue was disappointed to miss out on a performance.

Back pain

“She brought Limerick to a global stage and to the forefront of world music. She was an exceptional talent,” he said. “She was rehearsing here a month ago. It’s very very sad . . . She wanted to do a home town gig, but it didn’t materialise because of her back problems.

“She was meant to do a gig here with D.A.R.K. but couldn’t, because of back problems – so they had to cancel.

“Apparently she had a serious back injury. A lot of her European tour dates were cancelled at the time. The last two years of her life, I’d imagine, she was living in a lot of (back) pain.”

Limerick Mayor Seán Lynch expressed his shock at the singer’s sudden death. “She lived in Patrickswell as a young girl. I wanted to give her a mayoral reception before I ended my tenure. I’m sitting in my car and I just can’t believe it . . . She put Limerick on the world stage. Poor Dolores.”

Canon Liam McNamara, who was co-celebrant at O’Riordan’s 1994 wedding to Don Burton in Holycross Abbey, Co Tipperary, told the Limerick Leader: “My heart goes out to the family . . . We all loved her very, very much.”