Listen: Family friend pays touching tribute to Dolores O'Riordan in funeral homily

Latest: Retired parish priest and Canon Liam McNamara paid tribute to Dolores O'Riordan at her Funeral Mass today by recalled his first meeting with her in 1989.

The traditional, religious service in a modest, pebble-dashed church in the heart of the Irish countryside - only a few miles from where O'Riordan dreamed of stardom as a child - was without the trappings normally associated with celebrity lifestyles and farewells.

"The memory is indelibly written on my mind," said Canon McNamara.

"There she is, sitting at the keyboard, playing and singing with the choir."

Mourners heard about her inquiring mind and the ideals she shared with Martin Luther King that "each of us has a duty to work earnestly to discover and develop our talents".

"These talents are to be used for the honour and glory of God, and for the benefit of others," the priest said.

Dolores O'Riordan's haunting voice filled the air as family and friends packed a small church in rural Ireland to say a final goodbye today.

While the singer's deep faith resonated throughout the Mass, it was her distinctive lilt which brought emotion to the fore for the hundreds of mourners.

As her coffin was carried out of St Ailbe's in Ballybricken the poignancy of her lyrics in the song 'When You're Gone' struck a chord and prompted spontaneous applause.


The star was brought out to the sound of her own voice and the words "And I miss you, when you're gone".

At the head of the funeral party, the singer's mother Eileen O'Riordan hugged and embraced her grandchildren as she waited for the brief journey for private burial.

Update 4.22pm: Dolores O'Riordan 'had a talent worth its weight in gold'

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan had a loving heart, a voice of gold and starred in the gig of life itself, mourners at her funeral heard today.

Hundreds who packed into a small church in rural Co Limerick to say farewell to the musician were told she is now singing in a heavenly choir.

O'Riordan's distinctive voice, described during the mass as unique, far-reaching and distinctly Irish, filled the Church of Saint Ailbe in Ballybricken at the outset, as her duet of Ave Maria with Luciano Pavarotti was played.

The 46-year-old was found dead in a London hotel room last week.

In his homily, family friend Canon Liam McNamara extended sympathies to all her family and her Cranberries bandmates Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan, and Fergal Lawler.

At the outset of the Mass, symbols associated with O'Riordan's life were brought to the altar.

A long-time friend and a niece brought forward a guitar and a platinum disc award.

A picture of Our Lady of Dolours, after whom Dolores was named, was placed at the altar, as was a book of poetry.

Mourners then paused for a moment's silence and a prayer before her sister Angela read a passage of scripture.

In a service with a strong family focus, a number of O'Riordan's nieces, nephews and godchildren played roles.

Mourners carry the coffin carrying The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan following her funeral at Saint Ailbe's Church, Ballybricken.

Canon McNamara said the singer had reached out to the world and put Co Limerick on the map.

He recalled meeting the young O'Riordan in 1989 when she was singing and playing the keyboard in the church.

"She possessed a very special singing voice - a talent worth its weight in gold," he said.

"Intelligent girl that she was, she knew well that she should develop and use that talent. She also knew that talents were given by almighty God to be used generously for the benefit of others."

He added: "She did have a unique respect for everybody.

"Coupled with that respect, her kind, loving and generous heart, made her a source of great hope to the Church, during its stormy years. For that we sincerely thank her from our hearts."

He said the funeral Mass was a difficult day not only for Ballybricken, but for the world.

"Now she is singing in the heavenly choir - hymns of petition for us," he said.

Eileen O'Riordan (centre) following the funeral of her daughter and The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan at Saint Ailbe's Church, Ballybricken.

Canon McNamara said O'Riordan had been reunited with loved ones in heaven, including her late father Terry.

"If tears are shed in heaven - by necessity they are tears of joy," he said.

"Yes, tears of joy, following an excellent performance by Dolores, in the most important and vital gig of all - the gig of life itself."

During communion, O'Riordan's haunting version of the hymn Panis Angelicus was played in the church.

Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Kieran O'Reilly hailed her one of a kind voice.

"Since we heard of the sudden death of Dolores O'Riordan, many hearts in Ireland and around the world are heavy with sadness on hearing the news," he said.

"Indeed, the great outpouring of sympathy and love for Dolores which we have seen since her death is a witness and a tribute to her great musical talent and very special voice by her many fans and lovers of music.

"Dolores put her God-given talents at the service of others."

The Archbishop said the star had been a source of inspiration to many young musicians.

"Her gifts have resonated in the lives of many and will continue to do so as her music and her songs will continue to be played and listened to," he said.

"Her singing voice was unique, far-reaching and distinctly Irish.

"In an interview after meeting the now Saint Pope John Paul II, Dolores stated that her faith was one of her greatest musical influences.

"She said the Church had nurtured her development as an artist and musician and, for her, her faith was always important - a source of strength in her life."

At the close of the service, the Cranberries song When You Are Gone rang around the church as the singer's remains were brought to the nearby graveyard for a private burial service.

Mourners broke into a spontaneous round of applause.

Update 2.26pm: Dolores O'Riordan laid to rest in native Limerick

Dolores O’Riordan has been laid to rest in her native Limerick.

Hundreds of people including her children, mother and extended family attended her funeral mass in Ballybricken today to say their final goodbyes.

The 46-year-old Cranberries singer died last week sending shockwaves around the world.

Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly says she was an inspiration to others.

He said: "Since we heard the news many hearts in Ireland and around the world are heavy with sadness.

"The great out pouring of sympathy and love for Dolores is a witness and tribute to her great musical talent and very special voice by her many fans and lovers of music.

Update 12.51pm: The voice of Dolores O'Riordan filled a rural church in her hometown in Ireland as a funeral mass for the Cranberries singer began.

A duet of Ave Maria sung by O'Riordan and Luciano Pavarotti marked the start of the service in the Church of Saint Ailbe in Ballybricken, Co Limerick.

The 46-year-old was found dead in a London hotel room last week.

Hundreds of people have gathered at the rural Co Limerick church to say goodbye to a singer renowned for her distinctive voice.

Cranberries enjoyed huge success in the 1990s with tracks including Zombie and Linger.

O'Riordan - who was also a member of alternative rock group DARK - had been working on a new studio album with The Cranberries in the months before her death.

Her boyfriend and fellow DARK band member Ole Koretsky was among mourners at the service.

Ole Koretsky arrives for the funeral of his girlfriend and The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan at Saint Ailbe's Church, Ballybricken.

Her ex-husband Don Burton and the couple's three children - Taylor, Molly and Dakota - joined the singer's mother Eileen, her sister Angela and brothers Terence, Brendan, Donal, Joseph and PJ in the small parish church.

Don Burton arrives for the funeral of his ex-wife and Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan at Saint Ailbe's Church, Ballybricken.

Canon Liam McNamara said O'Riordan's voice was worth its weight in gold.

"Her kind personality and beautiful singing voice earned for her numerous admirers," he said.

"It must be added that the numbers she rescued from the darkness of depression are impossible to count.

"No words are adequate to describe Dolores or to accurately state the influence for good she has been over the years."

The order of service for the funeral of The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan at Saint Ailbe's Church, Ballybricken.

The service will be followed by a private family burial.

On Monday night, tea light candles lit the streets as family and close friends accompanied the singer's remains to the church from Cross's Funeral Home in Ballyneety.

Irish President Michael D Higgins paid his sympathies to the singer's family on Monday and signed a book of condolence.

"It was very important to pay tribute to the contribution Dolores made," said Mr Higgins.

"It is so moving, so profoundly sad, that somebody so young is taken for us.

"She was a star that shone bright from the very beginning," he added.

Eileen O'Riordan (left) following the funeral of her daughter and The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan at Saint Ailbe's Church, Ballybricken.

Cranberries fans from around the world tuned into a local Limerick radio station on Tuesday morning as it broadcast the service live.

Sales and streams of The Cranberries' back catalogue have rocketed by 1,000% in the days since her death.

Greatest hits collection Stars: The Best Of 1992-2002 landed at number 16 on the albums chart this week, a higher position than its previous peak of number 20 when it was released in 2002.

Update 11.50am: Dolores O’Riordan’s death has been described as a difficult day, not just for Limerick, but the entire world.

Hundreds of people are attending the funeral of the 46 year old Cranberries singer who died last week.

Thousands of people have been paying their respects to Dolores O’Riordan over the past two days, and today her close family and friends have come to say their final goodbyes.

Band member Mike Hogan (second right) and his wife Siobhan arrive for the funeral of The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Her mother Eileen, children Taylor, Molly and Dakota, their father Don and her stepson Donny along with her extended family have gathered at St Ailbe’s Church in Ballybriken, where she once sang in the choir.

Chief Celebrant and close family friend Canon Liam McNamara said Dolores reached out to the world putting Limerick on the map.

He said the numbers she rescued from the darkness of depression is impossible to count and that she is now singing in Heaven.

Following her funeral mass she will be laid to rest beside her father Terry at a private family burial.

Update 9.25am: Radio stations to play The Cranberries' 'When You're Gone' in tribute to Dolores O'Riordan at midday

At midday today, independent Irish radio stations will play The Cranberries' 'When You're Gone' in tribute to Dolores O'Riordan.

It is to coincide with her funeral which takes place in Ballybricken in Co. Limerick this morning at 11.30.

A similar gesture was made when Today FM DJ Tony Fenton passed away in 2015.

Earlier: Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan to be laid to rest today

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan is to be laid to rest in Limerick today.

The singer's funeral mass is to take place in the Church of Saint Ailbe in Ballybricken at 11.30am.

Canon Liam McNamara, the associate priest and a close friend of the O'Riordan family, will act as the chief celebrant of the Requiem Mass.

Father James Walton will be the chief co-celebrant, alongside Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly and Archbishop Dermot Clifford, the Archbishop Emeritus of Cashel and Emly.

The funeral mass will be broadcast live by Limerick's local radio station.

The service will be followed by a private family burial.

Bono's wife Ali Hewson arrives for the funeral of The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan at Saint Ailbe's Church, Ballybricken.

On Monday night tea light candles lit the streets as family and close friends accompanied the singer's remains to the church from Cross's Funeral Home in Ballyneety.

Earlier hundreds of people had gathered outside the funeral home where her remains were in repose.

Eileen O'Riordan arrives for the funeral of her daughter and The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan at Saint Ailbe's Church, Ballybricken.

Irish President Michael D Higgins paid his sympathies to the singer's family and signed a book of condolence.

"It was very important to pay tribute to the contribution Dolores made," said Mr Higgins.

"It is so moving, so profoundly sad, that somebody so young is taken for us.

"She was a star that shone bright from the very beginning," he added.

Students from Dolores O'Riordan's former school, Laurel Hill Colaiste FCJ, arrive for the funeral of The Cranberries singer at Saint Ailbe's Church, Ballybricken.

O'Riordan was found dead in a London hotel last Monday.

The 46 year-old - who was also a member of alternative rock group DARK - had been working on a new studio album with The Cranberries in the months before her death and was expected to discuss its scheduled release with record label BMG while in England.

A number of tests have been carried out to establish the cause of the musician's death, an inquest heard on Friday before it was adjourned until April 3.

Band member Mike Hogan and his wife Siobhan arrive for the funeral of The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan at Saint Ailbe's Church, Ballybricken.

Sales and streams of The Cranberries' back catalogue have rocketed by 1,000% in the days since her death.

Greatest hits collection Stars: The Best Of 1992-2002 landed at number 16 on the albums chart this week, a higher position than its previous peak of number 20 when it was released in 2002.

Band member Noel Hogan arrives for the funeral of The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan at Saint Ailbe's Church, Ballybricken. 

The singer was renowned for her distinctive voice and the band enjoyed huge success in the 1990s with tracks including Zombie and Linger.

An inquest into her death opened on Friday but was adjourned until April 3 to allow for further test results.


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