MUSIC star Dolores O’Riordan has revealed that she suffered years of sexual abuse as a child.
The Cranberries lead singer says the sexual assaults took place from the age of just eight.
O’Riordan says the molestation continued until she was 12 and was carried out by someone who was in a position of trust in her home county of Limerick.
"For four years, when I was a little girl I was sexually abused," Dolores reveals in an interview in Sunday Independent’s LIFE Magazine.
"I was only a kid."
However, the brave musician who has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide said she is keen to focus on her family instead of the past.
Dolores (42) is married to Don Burton and they have three children - Taylor, Mollie and Dakota.
"This is all in the past now", Dolores explains.
"I am just trying to live for my kids. It is all about my kids now. I love them endlessly."
Devoted mum Dolores lives with Don and their children in Malahide in Dublin and recently became the newest coach on RTE’s talent show The Voice of Ireland
She says her children have helped her come to terms with the traumatic experience.
"It gets hard as well when you have daughters because you get flashbacks when you're with them and when you are watching them.
"You wonder how can anyone get satisfaction in any way - you know?"
"The kids were actually completely elemental in my healing process," she says.
"Molly's been awesome. All of my kids - apart from the little one - said to me: 'Mummy, just talk about it. It's not such a big deal. If you talk about that and you are okay, it will help you to get better...'"
Dolores says talking about the abuse is aiding her recovery from it.
"It is cleansing," she said.
"I never really talked about it before because I, actually, wasn't able to, to be honest with you.
"It took years and years and years of counselling.
"It is something that I carried forever. There is a great sense of a great burden off my shoulders. I feel it is going to help me by opening up and just confessing to all of those people who bought my albums and that love me and come to my gigs and all those fans."
Dolores speaks movingly about her late father Terence who suffered brain damage following a bad bike accident in 1968.
She says he would have taken revenge on the man who abused her.
"My father would have killed him had my poor father not been retarded.
You can read the full interview with Barry Egan in LIFE Magazine in today’s Sunday Independent.
By Barry Egan