O’Riordan ‘not drunk’ in flight incident

Dolores O’Riordan has denied she was drunk on a flight from New York to Shannon last week, describing the alleged assault of an air hostess as "an accident".

Speaking publicly for the first time since the alleged air-rage incident, the Cranberries frontwoman, who was a mentor on RTÉ’s The Voice this year, said she had only “two glasses of wine” with her dinner on Aer Lingus flight EI-110 last Monday.

When she tried to go to sleep after her meal, she said she could not because other passengers were “roaring and shouting” at her.

The musician, who suffers from bipolar disorder, said she was not used to “being in a crowd like that” and admitted to feeling scared.

“I was going into the corner and saying: ‘Please don’t touch me.’ They said to me: ‘Do you think you are someone?’ I said: ‘You know who I am. You know I am the singer in the Cranberries.’ ”

Dolores also revealed the reason she was wearing a mask on the plane, claiming “stalkers” were following her.

“People look at you and see a product. They don’t see a soul. They see an empty hole,” she said.

She claimed the incident with flight attendant Carmel Coyne was accidental.

“She knows, for a fact, that it was an accident with my metal shoes,” said Dolores. “And there was bad people having too much booze roaring at me. And I backed up and I stood on her foot by an accident, like a child in the playground. I’m sorry, Carmel.

“You know I love you and if there is any way I can help you, I’ll be there for you.”

During the incident on the plane, the pilot radioed ahead to Shannon asking for assistance. When the flight landed, gardaí took the singer to Shannon Garda Station.

Dolores confirmed rumours that she was singing in her cell, but said it was only to keep warm.

“I was singing in the cell. I was praying. I was meditating because I was freezing,” she said. “Apparently my mother came into the cell. I don’t remember.”

The 43-year-old described her singing as therapeutic. “I just block out the demons. I sing,” she said.

Last week, Dolores’ mother Eileen told the Limerick Leader her daughter is in a “vulnerable” place after breaking up with husband Don Burton in September.

Dolores has since described her relationship with the former Duran Duran tour manager as over, revealing that the pair have legally separated.

“You can’t be in a situation where you are not happy,” she explained.


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