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Friday 21 September 2018

'She never changed - she was so humble' - Limerick DJ who was approached by Dolores O'Riordan with her first ever demo tape

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 12: Dolores O'Riordan, singer of musical group The Cranberries, answers questions during an interview for the promotion of her new album 'Stars: The Best of the Cranberries 1992-2002' at 40 Principales Station September 12, 2002 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 12: Dolores O'Riordan, singer of musical group The Cranberries, answers questions during an interview for the promotion of her new album 'Stars: The Best of the Cranberries 1992-2002' at 40 Principales Station September 12, 2002 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

A DJ who was approached by a teenage Dolores O’Riordan with her first ever demo tape has paid tribute to the singer who never changed.

Michael McNamara better known as DJ Mickey Mac was an institution in Limerick for up and coming musicians.

He recalled how Dolores first approached him as a school girl and how he was immediately blown away by her talent.

“I got the first tape. I was the only DJ with a national profile living in Limerick, I was in 2FM from 1979 to 2000 so a lot of Limerick groups came to me with tapes. And I remember Dolores coming to me with her cassette and saying ‘Mickey Mac, would you take a listen to this for me. What do you think?’ This was way before she joined The Cranberries.

“She was so shy and so sweet, I think she was even in her school uniform at the time and I remember saying to her ‘You have to get this recorded.'"

“She had done the cassette at home I think so I told her straight away to go to a studio and get a demo,” he told the Irish Independent.

Michael continued to follow Dolores through her meteoric rise and was taken by how the fame never changed her.

“I would have seen her at the very start like a lot of bands and I would have stayed in touch with her. As a proud Limerick man I followed her career. I suppose I was a bit frustrated that the first album was a slow mover. But then it all took off.

“She never changed, she was so humble. You’d meet her and she’d nearly be apologising. She was terribly humble. She didn’t want to be a superstar, I think she had a problem with being a superstar, I often think she would nearly have preferred to sing to her friends at Dolan’s warehouse in Limerick.

“It was all about the music. We have a wonderful Limerick accent and she was loud and proud of her accent. That was magnificent to hear,” he added.

Michael told of his shock on hearing the news of her sudden death. 

“I was heartbroken and everything came back to me. I watched her career as a complete anorak. I was trying to remember the last time we talked. I saluted her months ago on the street and she waved at me, but she was regularly on the streets of Limerick, there was no big deal. Dolores was just one of our own,” he added.

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