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Limerick a place of 'pilgrimage' as fans gather to mark first anniversary of Dolores O'Riordan's death

A special day-long event called Piano for Dolores takes place today.

Image: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment/PA

LIMERICK ARTISTS AND musicians are to come together in the Treaty City today to remember local rock queen Dolores O’Riordan on the first anniversary of her tragic death.

The iconic songstress was found dead in her hotel room in London on 15 January last year after drowning in a bath while intoxicated with alcohol.

O’Riordan found worldwide fame as front women with The Cranberries, and the band sold over 40 million records having risen to prominence in the US charts.

To mark O’Riordan’s first anniversary the remaining band members, Mike and Noel Hogan, and Fergal Lawler, will tomorrow release the first single from the band’s new and final album In The End.

O’Riordan had completed and recorded the vocals to final demo stage on eleven new songs which feature on the recording.

They described O’Riordan’s death as “devastating and unexpected”.

“As time passed, we began to think about how we might best honour our close friend and bandmate. This was a very painful process,” they stated on the band’s official website.

It was a very emotional process for us. There were many difficult moments during the recording sessions, particularly the first and last days.

They added: “We would like to take the chance to thank Dolores’ and our families and friends and all those who worked with the band over the years.”

“To our fans, who have stood by us for almost thirty years; Thank you, without you, none of this would have been possible. It has been an incredible journey.”

“We dedicate this album to our dear friend & bandmate Dolores. She will always be with us in her music.”

Today, in O’Riordan’s native city, fans and musicians alike are invited to remember the beloved singer at Piano for Dolores, a special day-long event in Ormston House, on Patrick Street.

The venue will be adorned with images of Dolores and the Cranberries, and lyrics from some of their most famous songs.

However, the focal point will be a piano, O’Riordan’s favourite instrument.

From 12noon, members of the public are invited to pay their respects in a quiet and personal way, and from 6pm-9pm there will be special performances by local musicians.

Organiser, Mark O’Connor, of the band Dolce Vita, said: “People’s love of Dolores and the Cranberries has not diminished over this time. The piano is a portal connecting so many songwriters like Dolores to her source…and the piano in Ormston House will help start the conversation about Dolores and how we can best remember her.”

Yesterday afternoon, Limerick mayor Cllr James Collins hung photographs and posters of O’Riordan and The Cranberries in his office to mark her passing.

The music memorabilia was donated by local events manager and DJ, Nicky Woulfe, who also previously promoted The Cranberries in their early days.

“I just wanted to mark her first anniversary, first and foremost as a music fan. I was lucky enough to promote them in the early days and I’m also making huge efforts to create a centre in the city that will house my music collection of 40 years featuring The Cranberries,” he added.

Mayor Collins said fans from around the world continue to travel on “pilgrimage” to Limerick to see O’Riordan’s homeplace.

Meanwhile, Collins said the Council was planning the “most appropriate way” to remember O’Riordan.

“Traditionally we would name a street, or commission a statute, but we are not going to rush into anything. It might be appropriate to do something different, like street art or a mural, or a bursary. We will have to agree everything with the family and the rest of the band.”

The O’Riordan family will be presented with a special posthumous award at University of Limerick  next Friday for the singer’s contribution to Limerick’s cultural and music scene.

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David Raleigh

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