THE Voice of Ireland judge Dolores O'Riordan has spoken of her abusive childhood.
The Cranberries star said she was abused from the age of eight until she was 12 by someone in a position of trust in her native Co Limerick.
"For four years, when I was a little girl, I was sexually abused," she said. "We moved into a busy estate when I was seven. There were tons of people around."
O'Riordan said her parents were unaware she was being abused – her mother was working hard to support the family and her late father had been left brain-damaged after a bike accident in 1968.
"My mother worked a lot to pay the bills and my father was oblivious to it," she said.
"My father would have killed him had my poor father not been retarded. This is all in the past now. It's all about my kids now. I love them endlessly.
"I never really talked about it because I actually wasn't able to. It took years and years and years of counselling. I've been in a shrink's office so many times.
"Actually, I knew I was going to a shrink too long when he started telling me his problems.
"I almost think it is okay now to talk about it – you know, when you look at these celebrities on Oprah? You don't have to hide it. I see this as cleansing. It is a way of emptying that closet – no more skeletons. Just peace and healing."
O'Riordan and her husband Don Burton have three children – Taylor (15), Molly (12) and eight-year-old Dakota.
She said they have been instrumental in the healing process: "All of my kids apart from the little one said to me, 'Mummy, just talk about it. It's not such a big deal. If you talk about that, and you are okay, it will help you get better'."
O'Riordan told her mother of her trauma eight years ago.
"I think my mother is the best mother in the world. I love her endlessly. There is a great burden off my shoulders."