An inquest has found that Dolores O’Riordan drowned in a bathtub “as a result of intoxication from alcohol,” according to The Guardian.
The investigation and inquest into the death of the lead singer of the indie, alt-rock Irish band The Cranberries in a coroner’s court in London found her blood alcohol level was “more than four times the legal limit for driving,” as reported.
It was found that O’Riordan, who would have turned 47 on the day of the inquest, had been drinking heavily in a London hotel and was found dead on the morning of January 15 of this year.
It was reported the death was an accidental drowning and so was not a suicide as had been reported. O’Riordan had “struggled for many years with bipolar disorder and excessive drinking,” the coroners court learned and factored in to its decision, it was reported.
Singer-songwriter O’Riordan was with The Cranberries from 1990 until their split 13 years later. The mezzo-soprano with a dulcet tone had a solo career with music released in 2007 and 2009, “Are You Listening?” and “No Baggage” respectively. She reunited wiht The Cranberries in ’09 and was with the band until she died.
O’Riordan was a judge on the TV singing competition show ‘The Voice of Ireland’ in 2013.
Born one of nine children in Limerick, Ireland, O’Riordan told The Independent about the reprehensible and horrific repeated sexual sexual assault she was subjected to as an 8-year-old girl. At age 42, she said she was working on healing. The man that ritually raped her for four years was a person in a position of power in her hometown. Surely as a result of the years-long abuse, O’Riordan suffered from mental illness.
O’Riordan was married to Don Burton, former Duran Duran tour manager, in 1994 and thye had three children; Taylor, 21, Molly, 17, and Dakota, 12. The couple divorced in 2104. O’Riordan said in 2013 she believed in God, had become more spiritual and was, decades after the abuse, trying to find peace while speaking about her love for her family.
“You can dwell on negative stuff in the past too much and then you will never grow and you will never evolve and you never embrace the future, or life. So as soon as you can you have to learn to let it go and put it in that box or whatever,” she was quoted as saying.
O’Riordan had spoken about being a rock star and the inherent dangers of the life, especially for someone already suffering with mental illness, particularly depression and then subsequent self-medicating and how she was cognizant of the “dodgy career” she had. O’Riordan told journalist Barry Egan that if “you make it through and live to tell the tale and you have kids and a happy family, that is an accomplishment. It is so easy to slip into that life in this business. You always have to be careful and watch your boundaries.”
She admitted then that she struggled with alcohol abuse. Sadly, at the time she said, “I cannot have sleeping tablets around, because if I have a few drinks I’ll take them. On tour, it was just so easy to say: ‘I can’t sleep, I’ve had a couple of drinks, maybe I’ll take one.’ Then you take another. Then you don’t wake up. That can happen. I am careful now. I am giving the tour a break. It can be really exhausting. One morning you are in Italy doing a TV show, the next morning you are in Los Angeles and the next morning you are in New York, and the next day you are back in Europe. The demands are crazy. I am only human.”
O’Riordan, a Roman Catholic, met Pope John Paul II twice and performed for him. Listen to her sing Ave Maria with Luciano Pavarotti. You will tear up. Just like Princess Diana did.
This piece about O’Riordan’s meeting with Diana Spencer tells its own story about the singer:
In September, 1995, at a charity concert in Modena, Italy, Dolores sang Ave Maria with Pavarotti. Diana, Princess of Wales, was in the front row with a tear in her eye. At the big dinner afterwards, Pavarotti sat at the head table with Diana. Dolores sat at an adjoining table with her mum and dad — whom she had flown over specially to watch her sing.
The Limerick star was going to the bathroom when Pavarotti stopped her and brought her over to meet Diana. Dolores sat down with her and had a glass of wine. Diana immediately explained to Dolores that the reason she cried earlier at her performance was because her mother Frances loved Ave Maria.
She added that she was a huge fan of The Cranberries.
Flattered, Dolores said to Diana: “It must be really hard to be a princess.”
She told Dolores that “no, it must be harder to be a female rock star, because you have to do concerts all over the world”.
Dolores then asked Diana would she mind meeting her mother Eileen. “Diana said how important mothers are and got emotional. So my mum came over and shook hands with her. And then my father came up behind my mother and asked Diana in his Limerick accent: ‘What side are you from? What side of the country are you from?’ He didn’t know who she was.”
Dolores explains her father, having had the brain injury early in his life, “didn’t read the papers or anything like that. He never knew anything about celebrities. He used to ask me all the time if I wrote The Hucklebuck”.
“Diana was really sweet, a people person. So afterwards, I said to her ‘I’ve got to go to the bathroom. Do you want to go with me?’ You know the way girls go together to the bathroom! And she goes: “I really need to go as well, but I can’t.'”
Dolores asked Lady Diana why.
“Because if I get up they have to ring a bell and everyone has to stand up when I go to the bathroom.’ I said to her: ‘Being a princess is much harder than being a female rock star!'”
In truth, despite the hard road she has travelled along, Dolores O’Riordan has finally made a happy life for herself as a female rock star cum Limerick Princess… Lady Dolores.”
In 2014, it was reported by the Irish Times that O’Riordan was arrested at Shannon Airport for an “air rage” incident where its presumed she was intoxicated and became verbally abusive on a flight from New York. She told authorities that she was stressed over living in hotels and flying back and forth between Ireland and New York and was suffering after the end of her 20-year marriage.
Her last performance was one month almost to the day before her death. She did a three-song set in New York backed by Saved By The 90s, Stereogum reported.
When she died she was in London to record vocals for the Bad Wolves cover of “Zombie.”