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rescued from darkness

'No words can describe the influence for good she was' - Dolores O'Riordan laid to rest in her hometown

The funeral service for the singer, who died suddenly in London last week, has taken place in her home parish of Ballybricken, Co Limerick.

DOLORES O RIORDAN FUNERAL II2A3238_90534926 The coffin of Dolores O'Riordan is carried to the hearse outside the Church of Saint Ailbe, Ballybricken Co Limerick. Eamonn Farrell Eamonn Farrell

Updated 11.30am

THE FUNERAL MASS for Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan has heard that she was a “special daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin”.

The homily, by Canon Liam McNamara at St Ailbe’s Church in O’Riordan’s home parish of Ballybricken in Limerick, said that “no words are adequate to describe the influence for good she has been over the years”.

“Her kind personality and beautiful singing voice earned for her numerous admirers,” McNamara said of the singer, who died suddenly in London last week.

It must be added that the numbers she rescued from the darkness of depression are impossible to count.

Several symbols of O’Riordan’s musical life were brought to the altar by her niece Eileen, a life-long friend Teresa, her nephew Patrick, and another life-long friend Breffni – a guitar, a platinum disc award, and a picture of Our Lady of Dolours, whom she was named for, and a book of poetry.

Xinhua News Agency / PA Images Xinhua News Agency / PA Images / PA Images

“She did have a unique respect for everybody,” the Canon said. “Coupled with that respect, her kind, loving and generous heart made her a source of great hope to the Church during its stormy years.”

He described his first meeting with the singer, who went on to become one of Ireland’s best-know faces around the globe: “(It) was in 1989. The memory is indelibly written on my mind.”

There she is, sitting at the keyboard, playing and singing with the choir in this lovely Church of Saint Ailbe. She possessed a very special singing voice – a talent worth its weight in gold.

“Intelligent girl that she was, she knew well that she should develop and use that talent.”

“This is a difficult day not just for Ballybricken, but for the world,” he continued.

It is a sad day for Eileen (Dolores’ mother) and for the entire O’Riordan family.  For all those who possess the strong faith of Eileen, they know well that we have not lost that gifted and talented singer.  Now she is singing in the heavenly choir – hymns of petition for us.  Yes, being human we shall miss her gentle hand-shake, her loving smile.

“If tears are shed in heaven – by necessity they are tears of joy.  Yes, tears of joy, following an excellent performance by Dolores, in the most important and vital gig of all – the gig of life itself.”

PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Sing-song in remembrance

Last night, hundreds of people took to the streets of Limerick City yesterday evening to take part in a sing-song to remember The Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan.

People gathered together in Arthur’s Quay park to pay tribute to their homegrown talent O’Riordan, who passed away on Monday 15 January.

The 46-year-old singer was found dead in the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane in London last Monday morning. An inquest into her death will take place on 3 April.

Last night’s event was organised by locals musicians Paula McSweeney and Jane Fraser. Dozens of other musicians and singers led the crowd to sing as they played instruments to accompany. / YouTube

Limerick native and musician Emma Langford, who provided the video above, said the event was electric.

“I just wanted to stand back and take in the atmosphere last night, to be honest. It was electric,” Langford told 

“The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up for a full hour. It was such a gorgeous organic event, Limerick people coming together in our hundreds to celebrate the life of one of our own,” she said.

PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Earlier yesterday, President Michael D Higgins paid tribute to O’Riordan at her removal service.

“It’s so sad, profoundly sad, that someone so young is taken from us, but it’s equally important to pay tribute to the work and the importance of the music,” Higgins said.

It is to the incredible credit of all those who have appreciated the music, the songs, the performances and the band, that they have come out in such numbers to make their tribute.

“It’s so appropriate and it is generous, and I hope that her family will get all the support they need.”

O’Riordan will be laid to rest today in Limerick.

The Limerick icon will be buried at a private family burial following a funeral at the Church of Saint Ailbe, Ballybricken at 11.30am today.

Canon Liam McNamara, a family friend, will be chief celebrant of the Mass which will be attended by family, neighbours, friends and by the local community.

As the church has a limited capacity, attendance is strictly reserved for family, relatives and parishioners only.

Additional reporting Cianan Brennan

Read: Dolores O’Riordan will be laid to rest today

More: ‘Deeply loved and cherished’: Thousands pay final respects to Dolores O’Riordan

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