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Saturday 22 July 2017

Terence O'Riordan, father of Cranberries singer, dies

BARRY EGAN EXCLUSIVE

Terence Patrick O'Riordan, father of rock star Dolores O'Riordan, has died at his home in Limerick.

The 74-year-old from Holy Cross passed away at home in Ballybricken, according to his daughter Dolores.

"He battled cancer for nearly six years. His faith kept him alive, though. He waited until 6pm to die because he loved the Angelus," Dolores, lead singer of internationally successful Limerick band The Cranberries, told me yesterday.

Her father, she said, was with all his children (Terence, Brendan, Donal, PJ, Joseph, Angela and Dolores) his wife Eileen, and his lifelong friend Father McNamara "when he took his final breath".

"He was always a fighter. We'll really miss him. A great father, entertainer, accordion player, singer and gardener. We are relieved now he's not struggling any more.

"He was a farm labourer until his bike accident in 1968," Dolores told me yesterday morning, "which left him invalided with permanent brain damage. He kept a garden. That kept him alive.

"He was more popular in Limerick than myself. He married mom in 1961. She was 17 and he was 24. They had nine children. Seven survived. I was the youngest. He told me I was lucky number seven. He told me he was so proud of me. He was a lovely man."

"He looks so peaceful now," Dolores wrote in a text to me shortly after he died on Friday. "I miss him but I feel happy. I was holding his hand and a candle."

Dolores would appear to have inherited her father's faith. After meeting Pope John Paul II at the Vatican a few years ago, she remarked: "[He] was lovely, very saintly. I was mad about him. I thought he really cared for the poor and he loved to meet the people. I saw him when he came to Limerick, when I was a kid. So it was pretty mindblowing ...

"My father was a beautiful, kind, funny man. He was a great patient during his long, weary battle. He never complained. He was bed-ridden for the last few months.

"He lost everything. His car, his garden, his freedom. His health. But he always kept his dignity.

"My mother will always love him. He held on to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year on November 14."

As Dolores sings herself in Linger, "If you, if you could return ... "

Sunday Independent

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