Rock star Dolores O’Riordan’s heartbroken mother, Eileen O’Riordan, has described how Christmas and the New Year were particularly difficult periods, as she prepares to mark the first anniversary of the tragic death of her world-famous daughter.
The former lead singer with The Cranberries was found dead in a bath in a hotel room, at London’s Park Lane Hilton, on January 15 last year.
Last September, at the singer’s inquest, it was revealed that she drowned in a bath while intoxicated with alcohol.
Eileen O’Riordan said she is finally beginning to accept Dolores is “not coming back”.
“It doesn’t feel like a year. It feels as if the funeral is just ending. I know one she is not coming back,” Eileen told the Limerick Leader.
Two anniversary masses will take place in Limerick on January 13. The first mass in St Ailbe’s Church, in Ballybricken, O’Riordan’s home place at 11am.
Mass will also be held at 11.30am, January 20 at St Joseph’s Church, O’Connell Avenue, in Limerick City, where thousands of her fans paid their respects as O’Riordan lay in repose following her sudden passing last year.
“They are both open to the public. We would love to see people there. We decided on the second mass for people who wanted to go in Limerick city,” Eileen said.
“Up to Christmas was hard enough, but I was busy with the church,” offered Eileen, who is a Eucharistic minister, reader, singer and sacristan at St Ailbe’s.
She said she was too emotional to attend mass on Christmas Eve.
“Katie, my granddaughter, Joseph’s daughter is a beautiful singer. She sings O’Holy Night, and Dolores used to sing that as well.”
“I came back afterwards on Christmas Eve. I didn’t want to be listening to the signing. And if I was sad then I would be sad in front of the children. I went to Joseph, my son’s house.”
Eileen said her family shared dinner on Christmas Day at the Limerick Strand Hotel, and that Dolores’s son Taylor, who lives in Canada, spent part of the festive holiday with them in Limerick.
“Taylor is still very sad, god help us. I think the first born are softer. He went back on Saturday, he’ll come back again in April please god.”
Dolores’s daughters Molly, 17, and Dakota, 13, are expected to join Eileen and the rest of the family in Limerick “soon”.
Eileen said she has arranged for 4,000 memorial cards to be printed in Dolores’s memory to mark her first anniversary.
“We have done them like a bookmark. They did it in Glenstall Abbey and it was very nice. I got around 4,000 of them to (hand) out.”
“Br Kevin in Glenstall did it for me. He’s an artist. He spent about a week doin it. There is a little verse to remember Dolores,” she added.
Eileen remarked how Dolores’s fans from around the world continue to visit her grave in Co Limerick, leaving trinkets and well wishes at her headstone.
“People are still leaving items there. There are three guitars there now I think,” Eileen said.
Eileen revealed, how sometimes, she momentarily forgets that Dolores is gone.
She said that whenever she hears something that might be of interest to Dolores, her first instinct to is to make contact with her.
“For a split second I feel I must tell her.”
“You have to keep going and make the best of it,” Eileen added.
University of Limerick is to present Dolores’s family with a special posthumous award on January 18.
The remaining members of The Cranberries, including Mike Hogan and Noel Hogan and Fergal Lawler, are to be presented with Honorary Doctorates by UL on the same day.