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Dolores O'Riordan's death was 'nothing but a tragic accident', finds coroner

The inquest took place on what would have been the singer’s 47th birthday.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

Updated Sep 6th 2018, 3:21 PM

THE INQUEST INTO the death of Dolores O’Riordan has heard that the Cranberries singer drowned due to alcohol intoxication. 

The 46-year-old was found ‘face up in the bath dressed in her pyjamas’ at her London Hilton Park Lane hotel room at 9am on 15 January.

The musician, who had battled alcoholism, had consumed spirits and champagne and was found with 330mg of alcohol in her blood. 

The inquest at Westminster Coroner’s Court was held on what would have been her 47th birthday.  

There was no evidence or self-harm and no suicide note in her room.

Police found empty miniature alcohol bottles strewn about the hotel room and discovered the minibar was activated around 2am.

Prescription drugs and an empty cigarette box were also found. 

She had abstained from alcohol for most of the last three years but relapsed during a trip to Canada, the court heard.

The musician’s psychiatrist, Seamus O’Ceallaigh, said: “There was [alcohol abuse] although Dolores had maintained sobriety over prolonged periods.” 

Dr O’Cellaigh told the court that he had last seen Dolores on 9 January and she seemed in “good spirits”.

Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said: “Dolores O’Riordan was a hugely successful singer with a very supportive family and children; clearly much loved by many people. 

“She had a short-ish history of bipolar [disorder] which she sought treatment for but it would seem she had no significant relapse of mental health.

“But there was an ongoing problem with intermittent alcohol misuse. On 15 January she was found deceased in her hotel room. There was no evidence that this anything other than an accident. There was no evidence of intention, it seems it was nothing but a solely tragic accident.” 

Police determined her death was not suspicious but an earlier inquest was delayed as ‘various tests’ were required.

The Cranberries shot to international fame with their 1993 debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? and went on to sell over 40 million records worldwide. 

In 2017 The Cranberries announced a tour including dates in Europe, the UK, and the US. 

But in May – shortly into the European tour – the group had to cancel the remainder of the European dates as a result of O’Riordan’s health issues. 

In a statement posted on Twitter today, the Cranberries said they continue to struggle to come to terms with what happened.

Dolores had been in London to record a cover version of The Cranberries classic Zombie with the band Bad Wolves – a track which was posthumously released. 

Following her death, her boyfriend and D.A.R.K. bandmate Ole Koretsky said “the love of my life is gone”.

He said in a statement: “My friend, partner, and the love of my life is gone. My heart is broken and it is beyond repair. Dolores is beautiful. Her art is beautiful. Her family is beautiful. The energy she continues to radiate is undeniable.

The cause of her death was found to be drowning due to excessive alcohol consumption. 

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