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'I was only a human being and I was expected to be perfect' - remembering Dolores O'Riordan

Last month, the Cranberries became the first Irish band to join the YouTube hall of fame, with over a billion views for their anti-war smash hit ‘Zombie’. Here, Barry Egan remembers Dolores O’Riordan; a woman who was unhappy, talented and loving in equal measure

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Dolores O'Riordan. Picture: Brendan Gleeson

Dolores O'Riordan. Picture: Brendan Gleeson

Dolores O'Riordan. Picture: Brendan Gleeson

Listening, my shoulders dropped. I was sitting in the tiny St Ailbe's Church in Ballybricken in Co Limerick on January 23, 2018, for Dolores O'Riordan's memorial service, which ended with a recording of Dolores singing When You're Gone by The Cranberries.

Rendered hymn-like, it was ethereal, and beautiful, not least because Dolores, who grew up down the road from the church, was finally released from the pain of this world into the other world that she believed in.

Even now, sometimes it is hard to finally believe that she is, as the song says, gone. She was a great woman and a great friend, and I loved her then as I love her now. Ireland is a lesser place without her creativity, without her empathy, without her. There are very few like her.