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Hundreds of fans attend first anniversary mass of Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan

O’Riordan died at the age of 46 in London on 15 January, 2018.

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan died at the ago of 46 last year
Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan died at the ago of 46 last year
Image: EMPICS Entertainment/PA Images

HUNDREDS OF FANS of the late Dolores O’Riordan were among those to pay homage at her graveside ahead of The Cranberries singer’s first anniversary.

O’Riordan, 46, and a mother of three, was found dead in a bath in her room at London’s Park Lane Hilton on 15 January, 2018.

An inquest held into her death last September heard she had drowned while intoxicated with alcohol.

The Cranberries three remaining members, Mike and Noel Hogan and Fergal Lawler, were among those to attend her first anniversary mass at St Ailbe’s Church, Ballybricken and Bohermore, Co Limerick today.

Eileen O’Riordan, Dolores’s mother, and her granddaughter Katie, each sang hymns from the side of the church.

A year on from the singer’s funeral, Fr James Walton, parish priest at Ballybricken, said the “small rural community of neighbours and friends come together once more to remember Dolores and to support her family as they continue to come to terms with their loss”.

Despite the remoteness of Ballybricken, Fr Walton remarked that “hundreds of people have been visiting this church to pray for Dolores and also making their way to Caherelly Cemetery, now a place of pilgrimage for her devoted fans”.

The singer’s graveside has become a musical shrine, decorated with trinkets left by fans, including guitars, cards, photographs, flowers, and personal messages.

Fr Walton said both he and the O’Riordan family had received “thousands” of emails, cards and messages from fans expressing their love for the late rock star.

“Dolores brought joy, solace, and inspiration to the lives of so many people, and continues to do so, based on the emails that I have received, and the fans that I have met over the past year,” he said.

O’Riordan’s “stardom” continues to shine, he said, and her powerful hit Dreams – which was played last August at Croke Park, after the final whistle of Limerick’s historic All-Ireland victory after a 45-year hiatus – has become the “unofficial anthem of Limerick hurling”.

“I know the past year has been tough for the O’Riordan family in coming to terms in dealing with the untimely death of a beloved daughter and beloved sister, of coming to the realisation that she is not coming back,” Fr Walton said.

“And so, the words of another Cranberries song … Hold on to Love … so hold onto your memories of Dolores, hold onto your beliefs and dreams as she did.

“Hold onto the inspiration, the joy, solace and empathy, that her voice, her music, and her life’s story has brought to so many.”

A small group of fans from around the world also attended the mass.

Self-confessed Spanish superfan Enrique Rivas was one of around 300 people, including Dolores’ mother Eileen and siblings, who attended the emotional ceremony.

Rivas, who afterwards laid a red head scarf at O’Riordan’s grave at Caherelly Cemetery, said it was the third time he had made the “emotional” journey from his home in London since the singer’s sudden death.

“Since I was a kid, ten or eleven years old, I’ve grown up listening to her music,” the 32 year-old said.

“It’s really emotional for me coming here. It was to close the year, coming back to this place.

“I was here last July so I had the chance to go to the cemetery. I left some flowers and today I will leave my bandana.”

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David Raleigh

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