Comment: Fame's demons drove tragic Dolores onto list of rock-and-roll's victims
FAR from the glitz and glamour of the celebrity rock world, the final tragic chapter for Dolores O’Riordan was written in a nondescript London office block.
The Limerick singer now joins a tragic list of hugely talented stars who departed this world far, far too young.
The list spans decades but in recent years alone, these tragic superstar names include Prince (2016), Michael Jackson (2009), Whitney Houston (2012) and Heath Ledger (2008).
Ms O’Riordan had two new solo albums in the pipeline and also had exciting future plans for her family and adored children.
But yesterday Westminster Coroner’s Court heard that she drowned in the bath of her plush London hotel last January while more than four times over the drink driving limit.
She died alone, wearing a pyjama bottoms and a vest – with empty miniature bottles from her hotel minibar scattered around the bedroom.
Bravely battling personal demons including depression and alcohol addiction, the mother of three had relapsed during a short trip to Canada and began drinking again.
The relapse came after she appeared to have turned the chaos of her life around after a spell in an addiction treatment centre.
She opened the minibar in Room 2005 of the Hilton at Park Lane at 2am on January 1 – and was found dead at 9am when a shocked maid opened the door, which was locked from the inside, to clean the room.
If anything underlined the tragic cost of fame, it was the proceedings before Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe yesterday.
The inquest hearing concluded after just 45 minutes.
Only two witnesses gave direct evidence, one of them Irish psychiatrist Dr Seamas O’Ceallaigh to whom Ms O’Riordan turned for help in battling depression and addiction.
Around the nearby streets, locals and tourists alike whipped out smartphones to photograph the media and the crowded scene.
One Chinese tourist approached the media and, in broken English, asked if someone famous was nearby?
It was perhaps the ultimate reflection of the celebrity-obsessed modern world.
Ms O’Riordan, while hugely talented and with a voice instantly recognisable throughout the globe, always struggled to cope with the personal demands of celebrity.
Intensely private and happiest with her devoted Limerick family, the singer always struggled to cope with the unceasing demands of the celebrity profile that came with her incredible talent.
It appears that, for support and to escape from the unrelenting pressures of the celebrity merry-go round, she made the fateful decision to turn to alcohol.
The brief inquest opened with a touching pen picture of Ms O’Riordan who, Coroner Dr Radcliffe was told, struggled to cope with “the heavy burden” that fame can often exert.
To many, the singer was a pop and rock icon. But she was first and foremost a mother, a daughter and a sister.
That was perhaps reflected in the attendance yesterday in the small, first-floor room of the Tachbrook Street office.
It was clear as the family left a Tachbrook Street packed with reporters, photographers,
One of O’Riordan’s most famous and beloved songs with The Cranberries was ‘Linger’, written about an unrequited teenage romance in Limerick.
Yesterday, the only thing that lingered in London SWI was a sense of tragedy, not just over a huge talent taken far too soon, but of a family left to try and cope with a heartbreaking and utterly avoidable loss.