John Kiely, Mike O’Riordan and Shane Dowling with members of the O’Riordan family, her mother Eileen, brother PJ and sister Angela
MEMBERS of the victorious Limerick hurling team paid a private visit to the home of Dolores O’Riordan on the eve of the first anniversary of the singer’s death.
“It was an honour,” the late singer’s mother Eileen told the Leader this week. “It was short notice but it took our minds off the next day.”
The Cranberries front woman’s haunting voice and Limerick’s hurling talent entwined in a magical summer culminating in an unforgettable All-Ireland victory.
And Limerick GAA wanted to acknowledge the special bond by paying a visit to her family on the anniversary of her death.
Team manager John Kiely from Galbally, player Shane Dowling from Na Piarsaigh and county board secretary Mike O’Riordan from Kilmallock arrived at the Ballybricken home shortly after 8pm on Monday and spent two hours chatting to the O’Riordan family and regaling them with memories of Dolores and their epic win.
“They were three lovely men, really lovely. John Kiely was very nice,” said Eileen.
Extended family, friends and neighbours grabbed hurleys and other memorabilia and made their way to the rural home to meet the trio when they got word that they were en route.
“We had a big gathering, a great crowd, all friends and neighbours. It was excellent. They gave me some beautiful calendars of the team and two books which they signed, one of them, John Kiely said, is one of only 50 printed so that was lovely.”
While Eileen says she hasn’t had a chance to sit down to read the book yet “when I do it will be an education for me to learn more about them as I know them all and where they are from”.
Eileen was also presented with Dreams, the commemorative DVD of the All-Ireland victory.
“I’m waiting for all the hype to be gone to sit down and watch it. All mine were very into hurling, we travelled all over the country to the hurling matches. They were very good at hurling but you know when you go on to college and university it’s hard to keep it up.”
The O’Riordan family also presented members of Limerick GAA with the 25th anniversary edition of The Cranberries first album Everybody Else is Doing it So Why Can't We.
One the most memorbable moments of the hurling season was when the explosive opening chords of The Cranberries Dreams sounded in Croke Park at around 5.20pm on that fateful day, August 19. Dreams along with The Cranberries other big hits, Zombie and Linger, have almost become anthems for the hurling team with them blasting them out on several occasions including at the team’s All-Ireland reception at the Citywest on the night of the final and also on New Year’s Eve while holidaying in Cancun.
Eileen said she didn’t know how she was going to feel entering Croke Park on August 19 as she hadn’t been to any big arenas since Dolores’ passing. The singer’s death in a London hotel room on January 15, 2018 was accidental due to intoxication from alcohol.
“When Dreams came on in Croke Park there was a man sitting next to me and he was very nice and he copped who I was and he started talking to me and wasn’t he a Redemptorist priest, a Limerick man in Dublin and you know me, I always feel safe once I’m near the church or a priest. Dolores must have sent him to me to put me at ease. It was marvellous to win it. “It was special to hear her voice for Dreams. Oh gosh it was.”