Fan leaves bandana on Dolores O’Riordan’s grave in Limerick to end emotional year

Áine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Áine Fitzgerald

I grew up listening to her music so it's emotional for me to come here: Enrique Rivas, who travelled from London Picture: Press 22

I grew up listening to her music so it's emotional for me to come here: Enrique Rivas, who travelled from London Picture: Press 22

A DEVOTED fan of The Cranberries travelled from London to Limerick to lay his bandana at the graveside of the band’s front woman on the first anniversary of her death.

Enrique Rivas, 32, originally from Spain grew up listening to the voice of Dolores O’Riordan and he wanted to mark her passing on January 15 of last year, in his own personal way.

“I was in St Joseph’s Cathedral last year and I decided to come again one year after to pay my respects,” said Enrique, standing outside St Ailbe’s Church in Ballybricken on Sunday morning after attending an anniversary Mass for the late singer.

“Since I was 10 or 11 years old I grew up listening to her music, so yeah, it’s really emotional for me to come here. It was kind of like to close the year to come back to this place. I arrived yesterday and stayed in Limerick and I go back this evening,” said Enrique.

He hoped to visit Dolores’ grave before he departed but wanted to give the family some space first.

“I was there last July. I left some flowers and today I will leave my bandana.”

Family, friends and neighbours of Dolores O’Riordan joined Cranberries band members in the pews of St Ailbe’s Church  for 11am Mass on Sunday where the singer’s three children, who are currently in Canada, were prayed for.

“We pray today for the repose of the soul of Dolores and we will keep in our prayers Taylor, Mollie and Dakota, Dolores’ children, for whom this time is also a difficult one. May the risen Christ continue to support them in their grief and in their lives,” said  Fr James Walton, PP of Ballybricken and Bohermore who concelebrated the Mass with Fr Anthony Keane of Glenstal Abbey.

Also present were Dolores’ sister Angela, brothers Terence, Brendan, Donal, Joseph and PJ, and Cranberries band members Fergal Lawler and Noel and Mike Hogan.

Dolores’ mother Eileen arrived early at the rural County Limerick church to make sure everything was perfect for the anniversary Mass.

Fr Walton explained how Dolores’ voice and her music was “a gift to her native county of Limerick and to the world” and spoke of how she played her own unique part in the Limerick hurlers’ All-Ireland victory last August after 45 years of waiting.

“Dolores was a force of nature. Her rise to stardom gave a huge amount of belief to young people at that time. It was reflected in the belief of the Limerick hurling team to win the All-Ireland final last year after 45 years. That belief can also be epitomised in the song Dreams, the unofficial anthem of Limerick hurling, in the words, And they’ll come true, Impossible not to do.”

Fr Walton told the congregation to “hold onto your memories of Dolores, hold onto your beliefs and dreams as she did”.