Saturday 23 February 2019

Limerick pays tribute to their 'Princess of Pop'

Dolores O'Riordan
Dolores O'Riordan

Ralph Riegel

LIMERICK paid an emotional tribute to the city's 'Princess of Pop', Dolores O'Riordan (46).

Politicians, community leaders and artists across the mid west expressed their shock at the death of The Cranberries leader singer and mother of three.

In an impromptu gesture of solidarity, many shops throughout the city began playing some of The Cranberries' greatest hits.

Local media outlets including 'The Limerick Leader' and Limerick's Live95FM were swamped by local people expressing their deep upset at the news and paying tribute to the singer who was once hailed as 'The Queen of Limerick'.

Tributes were led by President Michael D Higgins who said Dolores and The Cranberries had "an immense influence" on Irish and international music.

Canon Liam McNamara, who is a good friend of the O'Riordan family, said everyone was heartbroken by the news from London of her death.

"My heart goes out to the family. Dolores was their pride and joy. We all loved her very, very much," he said.

Canon McNamara said it was shocking to hear of her death at such a young age.

He had known Dolores for more than 30 years and was a co-celebrant at her 1994 marriage to Don Burton.

Mr Burton was a well-known figure within the global music industry having served as a tour manager for bands including Duran Duran.

Limerick City and County Council is now expected to open a special book of condolences.

Tributes were paid to Ms O'Riordan by both Limerick Mayors, Councillor Stephen Keary and Councillor Sean Lynch.

Another Limerick cleric, Fr James Walton from Ballybricken, spent last night consoling and comforting her extended Limerick family.

“I wish to extend my deepest sympathies," he said. University of Limerick-based Irish Chamber Orchestra official Gerard Keenan said the entire mid west was in mourning.

The last completed studio project undertaken by Dolores was an album recording with the Limerick orchestra.

"We want to issue absolute sympathy to her family and to PJ her brother," he said.

"She was just this iconic Limerick woman. The whole place is entirely devastated by her death. The people of Limerick were so very proud of

her and The Cranberries."

"They had great achievements and they never forgot where they came from - you'd see them around town quite a lot."

Mr Keenan said the arts scene in Limerick was reeling from the scale of the tragedy.

"There was never diva stuff from Dolores - she was such a lovely spirit but obviously a delicate and frail one. It is just so very sad."

Ms O'Riordan is survived by her children, Taylor, Molly and Dakota.

Over three decades of recording and touring, The Cranberries became one of the most successful Irish music acts.

The band sold 40 million records and boasted some of the biggest singles of the 1990s including 'Linger' and 'Dreams.'

The Cranberries also boasted seven platinum albums in the US.

A planned series of concerts in Europe and North America were postponed last year after Dolores cited health issues.

However, the singer was working on a number of ongoing projects and planned to reschedule the tour dates from 2017.

Tributes were also paid to her by such acts as Kodaline, Hozier and Dave Davies of The Kinks.

Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said the music world was reeling from the news.

"It is absolutely shocking - it is inconceivable that Dolores is gone.

She created a sound with The Cranberries that had huge international reach," he said.

"It is no secret that Dolores struggled from quite early on with The Cranberries with dealing with fame and people and the pressure that

goes with it. It is a very tough life. (But) she was such a very beautiful singer. The unique quality that she had to her voice was the

hallmark of The Cranberries."

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