Dolores O’Riordan Laid to Rest
A funeral mass was held for Dolores O'Riordan today at the Church of Saint Ailbe in Ballybricken, Limerick. The Cranberries singer died suddenly on Jan. 15 in her London hotel room. She was 46.
The mass was led by family friend Canon Liam McNamara, along with Father James Walton, Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly and Archbishop Dermot Clifford, and attended by thousands, including O’Riordan’s ex-husband Don Burton and their children, her boyfriend Ole Koretsky, the Cranberries’ Noel Hogan, Ali Hewson, wife of U2’s Bono.
Cranberries collaborators the Irish Chamber Orchestra performed throughout the ceremony, while O'Riordan's nieces and nephews also took part. A guitar and platinum disc laid on the altar to mark her career. The mass was broadcast live on Irish radio, and at midday local time, every independent station in the country played Cranberries track “When You’re Gone” as a mark of respect.
“She did have a unique respect for everybody, no matter who they were or what they were," Canon McNamara said in his homily. "Her kind, loving, generous heart made her a source of great hope to the church. Maybe everyone didn’t know it, but I knew it. It wasn’t unusual for her to come up and whisper a little word of support or advice. She says, ‘Mind yourself. Mind yourselves. I want priests around while I’m still there.’”
McNamara also sent “sincere sympathy” to her fans across the globe, noting, “It’s a difficult day, not just for Ballybricken, but for the world. ... Now she is singing in the heavenly choirs, singing petitions for yourselves and myself. We will miss her gentle voice, her lovely voice. … She is reunited with loving father Terry, and her baby brother Gerard, whose anniversary was today.” He ended by hailing O’Riordan’s “excellent performance in the gig of life itself.”
Irish Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly described O'Riordan's voice as “unique, far-reaching and Irish” and added that people would “continue to be touched” by her work. “In the world of music, you become very close,” he continued. “Someone very special has gone from us, yet she remains with us through her music, her song, through her voice. With these words we commend Dolores to the loving tenderness of God.”
"When You're Gone" was played through the church as the coffin was carried out by her brothers and bandmates to applause from the congregation. Her nephews Daniel and Andrew O’Riordan played bagpipes at the end of the ceremony. She was then buried privately at Caherelly Cemetery, in a family plot next to her father, who died in 2011.
O'Riordan, who played in the band D.A.R.K. with boyfriend Koretsky, had been laid in repose for three days, first at St. Joseph's Church in Limerick, and then at Cross' Funeral Home in Ballyneety, before being relocated to Saint Ailbe. Thousands gathered from around the world to pay their respects, leaving flowers and signing condolence books.
O'Riordan, who lived in New York City, had traveled to London the night before her death. She was there to record vocals for Bad Wolves' cover of the Cranberries' hit "Zombie" that day, which she penned in tribute to victims of an IRA bombing in March 1993. Bad Wolves released their cover of the song last week, which she had approved of and wanted to sing on, with all proceeds benefiting O'Riordan's three children. O'Riordan was also meeting with record-label executives to discuss an upcoming album D.A.R.K. had been recording. They had previously released one record, Science Agrees.
The coroner completed an autopsy on O'Riordan to determine cause of death, and now awaits the results. The inquest will be reopened on April 3. Police said they were not treating her death as suspicious.
In addition to fans, many of the singer's peers expressed shock and sadness at her death. Artists including Duran Duran, R.E.M., Garbage, Foster the People, Liz Phair, Adele, Josh Groban and many more all took to social media to share tributes.
O'Riordan had been the lead singer and songwriter for the Cranberries from 1990-2003, when the band called it quits. They reunited in 2009. Her bandmates set a floral tribute next to her coffin during the public viewings, with a note that read, "The song has ended, but the music lingers on," referencing one of the band's most popular songs, "Linger." Immediately following her death, they posted a statement regarding the loss: "She was an extraordinary talent and we feel very privileged to have been part of her life from 1989 when we started the Cranberries. The world has lost a true artist.” "For the past 29 years, Dolores was my friend, bandmate and writing partner," guitarist Noel Hogan added. "It was an honor and I’ll miss you.”
On their band's website, Koretsky posted his own statement, mourning O'Riordan as "the love of my life." "My friend, partner and the love of my life is gone. My heart is broken and it is beyond repair," he wrote. "Dolores is beautiful. Her art is beautiful. Her family is beautiful. The energy she continues to radiate is undeniable. I am lost. I miss her so much. I will continue to stumble around this planet for some time knowing well there's no real place for me now."
Immediately after her death, the Cranberries' music made its way back on the charts, with some music reaching higher positions than they ever had before. Combined streams and sales of their catalog increased by more than 1,100 percent, and their greatest hits album, Stars: The Best of 1992-2002, hit No. 16, just days after her passing, where it previously only reached No. 20. "Linger" landed at No. 11, "Zombie" at No. 16 and "Dreams" reached No. 40.