'She is with me, helping me': Dolores O'Riordan's mother speaks about coping with star's death

Aine Fitzgerald

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Aine Fitzgerald

Eileen O’Riordan with her late daughter Dolores in Shannon Airport in 1991. Below, the shrine in Ballybricken church dedicated to the star Pictures: Limerick Leader

Eileen O’Riordan with her late daughter Dolores in Shannon Airport in 1991. Below, the shrine in Ballybricken church dedicated to the star Pictures: Limerick Leader

AS she prepares to attend her daughter’s Month’s Mind Mass this weekend, Eileen O’Riordan has spoken of how she feels the presence of her daughter Dolores with her all the time, helping her in her time of grief.

“I talk to her all time. I feel she is there all the time - helping me. I give out to her sometimes too,” said Eileen this Wednesday of her beloved daughter, the iconic rockstar Dolores O’Riordan.

Speaking exclusively to the Leader from her Ballybricken home, Eileen told of how Dolores’ three children Taylor, 20, Molly, 17, and 12-year-old Dakota are slowly coming to terms with the death of their doting mother, having returned to Canada where they live.

“The girls are doing OK but Taylor is understandably finding it very hard. They are moving house - too many memories,” she explained.

Three weeks after the funeral of The Cranberries frontwoman, flowers, sent by fans from across the world through the floral delivery network Interflora, continue to be delivered to the grave of the 46-year-old singer who died suddenly on January 15 in her London hotel room.

Eileen continues her daily routine of going to Mass every day in the small parish church of St Ailbe’s in Ballybricken but, now, sadly, she also makes the lonely journey to Dolores’ graveside at Caherelly Cemetery where Eileen’s husband Terence was laid to rest in 2011.

“I go up quite often. I have to go up this evening now and clean it for the weekend because the frost got all the flowers. There are flowers still coming - the fans abroad are sending flowers by Interflora. Some of them are being delivered to the grave.”

In an acknowledgment published on page two, the O’Riordan family have expressed their “heartfelt thanks for the many expressions of sympathies and kindness following our loss at this sad time.

“A sincere thanks to all who attended her funeral and offered their support, kindness and sympathy over the past month.”

“We are getting hundreds of letters - I didn’t look at them yet,” said Eileen, her voice cracking.

“I have a shoebox of them here. They are still coming in the post from all over the world. A letter came from Boston simply saying, Eileen O’Riordan, Limerick. There was no mention of Ireland or anything just Limerick.”

The family, she said, are coping “good enough” as they are being kept busy with the huge amount of support they are getting from the close-knit local community as well as the wider global fanbase Dolores had attracted over the years.

“There is an awful lot happening still with the neighbours calling and letters coming,” Eileen explained.

Over the past two decades Eileen has been a regular visitor to Canada to see her grandchildren.

“They are like my own children,” she pointed out. “Both girls are like Dolores and sing. Dolores was recording with Taylor two weeks before she died - he has a great voice. They had the studio and the whole lot ready but poor Taylor got a very bad sore throat problem and he couldn’t do it. It’s a pity - I suppose it wasn’t meant to be. They had to get their dog put down last Friday which has added to their pain.”

With many column inches being devoted to Dolores funeral  in local, national and global media - the Leader’s Norma Prendiville described how it was all done simply, “with great dignity and with no fancy trappings”, Eileen this week praised the media for the respect they showed her family at the funeral.

“Going to concerts with Dolores you would often have cameras in your face. I was probably expecting something like that but everyone was very good.

“I was supposed to wait around and meet everyone but when I saw the children upset I just got them into the car - they would always come first.”

Dolores is predeceased by her father Terence and is very deeply regretted by her mother Eileen, children Taylor, Molly and Dakota, their father Don, brothers Terence, Brendan, Donal, Joseph and PJ, and sister Angela, brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, all other relatives and a large circle of friends. Dolores’ Month’s Mind Mass will be offered this Saturday in Ballybricken church at 7.30pm with refreshments afterwards in Kirby’s.

Dolores’ family offers thanks for support in past month

We the family of the late Dolores O’Riordan R.I.P. would like to express our sincere and heartfelt thanks for the many expressions of sympathies and kindness following our loss at this sad time. A sincere thanks to all who attended her funeral and offered their support, kindness and sympathy over the past month.

To all who attended Limerick City Hall and St. Joseph’s Church to sign the Books of Condolences and pay their respects.

To the many thousands of sympathisers and fans who sent mass cards, flowers and letters of sympathy.

To the Cranberries, Noel, Mike, Fergal, their families, the band’s crew, Nollaig, and representatives from the Irish Music Industry.

Special thanks to President Michael D. Higgins, his Aide-de-Camp Louise Conlon and Aide-de-Camp to AnTaoiseach Caroline Burke. Most Rev. Kieran O’Reilly Archbishop of Cashel &Emly. Archbishop Emeritus Dermot Clifford. Most Rev. Brendan Leahy Bishop of Limerick, Canon Liam MacNamara, Chief Celebrant of the Funeral Mass. Fr. James Walton, P.P. Ballybricken Bohermore, Reverend Fr. Oliver Plunkett and all at St.Joseph’s Church and to all the other priests who attended and offered consoling support.

Sincere thanks to the members of the Limerick Pipe Band and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Mayor of Limerick, local representatives, Limerick City & County Council and the Gardai. A special word of thanks to Limerick’s Live 95fm for broadcasting the Mass and to all other media sources for their respectful coverage.

A special word of thanks to Cross’s Funeral Directors for their most compassionate and professional manner of handling of arrangements. Also to those who helped prepare Dolores’ final resting place.

To Ballybricken Bohermore G.A.A. Club and local parishioners who helped with Church preparations, to Anne for her lovely flowers, Caherelly N.S. and all who helped with parking, stewarding, roads and traffic management. Also to the residents of Ballyneety Village for their kind gestures.

As it would be impossible to thank everyone individually we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our extended families and all our kind neighbours and friends for their continuing support and kindness.

Mass will be offered for all your intentions.

Dolores’ Month’s Mind Mass will be offered this Saturday 24th February 2018 in St. Ailbe’s Church, Ballybricken at 7.30pm.