Dolores O’Riordan speaks out about sex abuse

Rock star: Dolores ORiordan, seen here on stage in Thomond Park in 2010, is to play in her home city this New Year's Eve. Picture: Ken Coleman
LIMERICK rock star Dolores O’Riordan has spoken out about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child.

LIMERICK rock star Dolores O’Riordan has spoken out about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child.

The Ballybricken woman and Cranberries’ star said that she suffered sexual assaults from the ages of eight to twelve at the hands a person from the Limerick area who was known to her family.

“You think it is your own fault. I buried it. It is what you do initially. You bury it and you are ashamed of it. You think, ‘Oh my God. How horrible and disgusting I am’. You have this terrible self-loathing,” she said in an interview with the Sunday Independent’s LIFE magazine.

“And then I got famous when I was 18 and my career took over. It was even harder then.

“I never really talked about it before because I wasn’t able to, it took years of counselling.”

The diminutive rock star, now living in Malahide with husband Don and children Taylor, Dakota and Molly, said that her father, who died in 2011, was “oblivious” to the abuse after a bike accident had “left him invalided with permanent brain damage and was never the same again”.

“We moved into a busy housing estate when I was seven. There were tons of people around all the time. My mother worked a lot to pay the bills and my father was oblivious to it,” she said.

Dolores said the abuse consisted of “inappropriate touching, et cetera”.

“My father would have killed him (the abuser) had my poor father not been retarded,” she said. “This is all in the past now. I am just trying to live for my kids. It is all about my kids now. I love them endlessly.”

Admitting that she is a “train wreck”, Dolores said she developed anorexia and had panic attacks and “tried to overdose last year. I suppose I am meant to stay here for the kids”. She has been praised this week for having the temerity to speak out about the assaults.

The Voice of Ireland judge said that she told her mother about the abuse eight years ago but never told her father.

“It is something that I carried forever. There is a great sense of a great burden off my shoulders. I feel it is going to help me by opening up and just confessing to all of those people who bought my albums, and that love me and come to my gigs, and all those fans.

“If I tell them that this happened to me and they still love me, that is going to make me feel good about myself.”