BALLYBRICKEN, Ireland (Reuters) – Cranberries lead singer Dolores O‘Riordan was laid to rest at a private funeral in her home town on Tuesday, remembered as someone who rescued people from “the darkness of depression.”
O‘Riordan, 46, whose distinctive and powerful Irish voice helped fuel The Cranberries’ rapid rise in the early 1990s, was found dead in a London hotel last week during a recording trip ahead of a planned tour. No cause of death has yet been established.
Her mother, three children and bandmates Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler attended the service at Saint Ailbe’s Church in the small rural County Limerick town of Ballybricken in the south-west of Ireland.
“No words are adequate to describe Dolores or to accurately state the influence for good she has been over the years,” Canon Liam McNamara, a family friend who first met O‘Riordan when she was a teenager, told the mourners.
“The numbers she rescued from the darkness of depression are impossible to count.”
Candles lit the streets of Ballybricken late on Monday, as her coffin was brought to the church where McNamara said she once sang and played keyboard in the local choir.
The mass began with a recording of Ave Maria sung by O‘Riordan and Italian opera star Luciano Pavarotti. A guitar and a platinum disc award – symbols from a musical career that saw The Cranberries sell over 40 million records, second only to U2 among Irish acts – were brought to the alter.
O‘Riordan, whose hits with The Cranberries such as “Linger” and “Zombie” catapulted her to fame as a shy 22-year-old, was the “voice of her generation,” Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said last week.