Friday 15 February 2019

Musical shrine: Fans flock to pay respects at Dolores's grave a year on from her tragic death

Sadly missed: The late Cranberries star Dolores O’Riordan. Photo: David Conachy
Sadly missed: The late Cranberries star Dolores O’Riordan. Photo: David Conachy

David Raleigh

Hundreds of fans of the late singer Dolores O'Riordan made the "pilgrimage" from around the world to pay homage at her graveside, her first anniversary Mass heard.

Fans joined with Ms O'Riordan's mother Eileen and her siblings for an emotional ceremony held in St Ailbe's Church in Ballybricken, Limerick.

The remaining three members of the Cranberries - brothers Mike and Noel Hogan, and Fergal Lawler - also attended yesterday's Mass.

Dolores's mother Eileen and niece Katie each sang hymns during the Mass.

Parish priest Fr James Walton said the "small rural community of neighbours and friends come together once more to remember Dolores and to support her family as they continue to come to terms with their loss".

Despite the remoteness of Ballybricken, with "no village and no nameplate", Fr Walton remarked that "hundreds of people have been visiting this church to pray for Dolores and also making their way to Caherelly Cemetery, now a place of pilgrimage for her devoted fans, to pay their respects to her, and to leave there a memento of their visit."

Tribute: Spanish fan Enrique Rivas flew from London to pay his respects
Tribute: Spanish fan Enrique Rivas flew from London to pay his respects

The singer's graveside has become a musical shrine, decorated with trinkets left by fans, including guitars, cards, photographs, flowers, and personal messages.

Fr Walton said both he and the O'Riordan family had received "thousands" of emails, cards and messages from fans expressing their love for the late rock star.

"Dolores brought joy, solace and inspiration to the lives of so many people, and continues to do so, based on the emails that I have received, and the fans that I have met over the past year," he said.

O'Riordan's "stardom" continues to shine and her powerful hit 'Dreams' - which was played after the final whistle of Limerick's historic All-Ireland victory last year after a 45-year hiatus - has become the "unofficial anthem of Limerick hurling", he added.

Delores O'Riordan's grave at Caherelly, which fans have turned into a shrine for the singer
Delores O'Riordan's grave at Caherelly, which fans have turned into a shrine for the singer

"I know the past year has been tough for the O'Riordan family in coming to terms, in dealing with the untimely death of a beloved daughter and beloved sister, of coming to the realisation that she is not coming back," Fr Walton said.

"And so, the words of another Cranberries song... 'Hold on to love'... so hold on to your memories of Dolores, hold onto your beliefs and dreams as she did.

"Hold onto the inspiration, the joy, solace and empathy, that her voice, her music, and her life's story has brought to so many."

O'Riordan, aged 46, and a mother of three, was found dead in a bath in her hotel room at London's Park Lane Hilton.

An inquest held into her death last September heard she had drowned while intoxicated with alcohol.

Irish Independent

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top