WATCH: 'Her talent was worth its weight in gold' - Dolores O'Riordan's funeral takes place in Limerick

Leader Reporters


Leader Reporters

THE funeral of rock star Dolores O’Riordan has taken place in her native Limerick this Tuesday morning.

The Cranberries star was laid to rest in her native Ballybricken after a Requiem Mass at St Ailbes’ Church, which started at 11.30am.

Family friend, Canon Liam McNamara was the chief celebrant of the Mass, which was concelebrated by parish priest Fr James Walton, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Kieran O’Reilly, and Archbishop Emeritus Dermot Clifford.

The Mass opened with a recording of Dolores performing Ave Maria with Pavarotti in 1995.

Symbols of her musical career and life were then brought to the altar, including a guitar and platinum disc, a picture of Our Lady of the Dolours, after whom she was named, and a book of poetry.

Dolores sister Angela read the first reading, while her nieces Katie and Noelle sang the responsorial psalms, with the second reading by here nephew Alan and five godchildren read prayers of the faithful.

Canon McNamara, a close friend of the family, delivered the homily. He said, of our "dearly beloved Dolores", she "reached out to the world".

"She certainly put her local community, which is steeped in goodness, of Ballybricken on the map. And not only the city of Limerick, but the entire county as well, and for that we are very glad.

"Her kind personality and her beautiful singing voice earned numerous followers and was heard all over the world and rescued many from darkness.

"No words chosen by me are adequate to describe Dolores, or to accurately state the influence for good she had all over the world," he said.

He said her talent was "worth its weight in gold".

"She was a great person to give a little word of support or encouragement, or advice. She often said to me, mind yourself, mind yourselves," he said. 

Canon McNamara acknowledged that it was "a very difficult day, a sad day, not just for Ballybricken, but for the entire world, for Dolores' mother Eileen and her family".

"Now she is singing in the heavenly choirs," he added.

An Irish Chamber Orchestra quartet, who have recorded with Dolores and the Cranberries, performed during the offertory procession and also during communion.

Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Kieran O’Reilly expressed his sympathy to Dolores' mother Eileen, to her three children and ex-husband Don and her family and friends gathered in Ballybricken.

He said she had "put her God given talents at the service of others".

"She has been an inspiration and source of encouragement to many young artists over the years. Her gifts have resonated in the life of others and will continue to do as her music is played," he said.

The Cranberries' song When Your're Gone played out in the church as the Mass finished and her coffin was taken from the church, with a round of applause greeting the song and the faint whisper of bagpipes filling the air.

A simple casket, featuring a carving of the Blessed Virgin, was carried out of the church, with tears and smiles prevalent among those who had gathered to celebrate the life of Dolores O'Riordan.

It was carried from the church by her brothers and bandmates. She will be laid to rest with her late father in Caherelly cemetery during a private burial.

Earlier, students representing Dolores' secondary school Laurel Hill Colaiste were among the first to arrive at the church.

The media is being kept at a respectful distance back from the church, which has a capacity of around 200.

Cranberries bass player Mike Hogan was the first of the group to arrive for the funeral.

Mike's brother Noel, guitarist and co-songwriter in The Cranberries, arrived shortly afterward, followed by Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Stephen Keary.

Ali Hewson, wife of U2 frontman Bono, is also among those attending the funeral.

Musician Bressie and radio DJ Eoghan McDermott have also arrived at the church.

There is peace and quiet around the church as a light sprinkling of rain falls on the media gathered outside.

Aide-de-camps for An Taoiseach and the President have also arrived.

Dolores' boyfriend and D.A.R.K. collaborator Ole Koretsky is also attending the funeral.

Moments before the funeral was about to start, the weather cleared.

On Monday, President Michael D Higgins attended the star's reposal in Ballyneety, along with hundreds of others, as three days of mourning take place in Limerick.

He said it was to the "incredible credit to all those who have appreciated the music and songs and performances of the band that they have come out in such numbers to make a tribute, it is so appropriate and it is generous and I hope that her family will get all the support that they need".

On Sunday afternoon, thousands of people braved treacherous weather conditions to pay their last respects at a public reposal at St Joseph’s Church.

And on Monday night, large numbers of people turned out for a vigil for the Cranberries singer in Arthur’s Quay Park.

- The funeral is being broadcast live on Limerick's Live 95FM and the Limerick Leader will have regular updates online, on Twitter and Facebook