DUBLIN – Dolores O’Riodran, the Irish singer whose iconic vocal style at the front of the Cranberries shot her to world acclaim until her death in London aged just 46, was laid to rest Tuesday in her hometown in rural Ireland.
Around 200 people attended the funeral service in Ballybricken, near Limerick in the west of Ireland, to bid farewell to O’Riodran in a mass at Saint Ailbe’s Church that was officiated by her family friend, Canon Liam McNamara.
“Her kind personality and beautiful singing voice earned for her numerous admirers. It must be added that the numbers she rescued from the darkness of depression are impossible to count. No words are adequate to describe Dolores or to accurately state the influence for good she has been over the years,” McNamara said during his homily.
He said O’Riodran had not only put herself on the map in Ballybricken, but also Limerick and then the world over and became a music icon throughout the 1990s.
A recording of O’Riodran singing Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria” alongside Luciano Pavarotti played at the church as the late singer’s coffin was brought in for the service, which was attended by her mother Eileen, her six siblings and her three children Taylor, Molly and Dakota as well as her former band mates.
Objects from her personal life, including a guitar and a platinum album, were places by her casket during the ceremony.
“If tears are shed in heaven – by necessity they are tears of joy. Yes, tears of joy, following an excellent performance by Dolores, in the most important and vital gig of all – the Gig of Life itself,” McNamara said.
O’Riodran was later buried in Ballybricken cemetery in a ceremony attended only by close family, including her father, Terry.
Fronted by the charismatic O’Riordan, The Cranberries achieved international stardom in the early 1990s with hits such as “Zombie,” “Dreams” and “Linger” and sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.
The band took a hiatus in 2003 but reunited six years later for a year-long world tour and then released their sixth studio album, “Roses,” in 2012.
Last year, the band released an unplugged album titled “Something Else” that featured a selection of old hits re-recorded with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, as well as three new songs.
Coroners were expected to report the cause of her death shortly.
O’Riordan was found dead in a London hotel on Jan. 15.