Thousands of fans pay tribute to Dolores O’Riordan in Limerick

A four-hour public reposing was held at St Joseph's Church today (January 21)

Thousands of fans have gathered in Limerick to pay tribute to Dolores O’Riordan.

The Cranberries singer died last week (January 15) aged 46, while in London for a recording session. Police are not treating her death as suspicious.

Her native Limerick County is observing three days of mourning, concluding with her funeral on Tuesday (January 23). Her body was laid in open coffin for a four-hour public reposing at St Joseph’s Church earlier today (January 21). It is a tradition usually used only for Presidents, Popes, and heads of State.

The Irish Times reports the church was decorated with white roses, photographs of the musician performing, and of her two meetings with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. Her mother Eileen and her six siblings accompanied her coffin into the church.

Dolores O'Riordan Limerick
Dolores O’Riordan on stage in Istanbul in 2010

Some of O’Riordan’s songs played in the church while mourners gathered in silence, including former minister for defence Willie O’Dea and former minister for education Jan O’Sullivan. According to fans, the star was dressed in black and held a set of pearl rosary beads.

Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick, told the crowd: “I am conscious that, while millions across the world have been shocked by the sad news of her death, today is about Limerick’s public moment to bid farewell.”

He added: “We come to offer a heartfelt greeting to a deeply loved and cherished daughter of Limerick. As we file past her coffin, let’s pray for her, her family, and those she loved and helped in life.”

Next to the singer’s coffin lay a floral tribute from her Cranberries bandmates, which read: “The song has ended, but the memories linger on.” Fifty of her former classmates also carried a single daffodil each into the church and laid them next to the altar.

O’Riordan’s remains will be reposed at Cross’ Funeral Home in Ballyneety tomorrow (January 22), before her funeral mass takes place on Tuesday. She will be laid to rest next to her father in a private burial at Caherelly Cemetery.

The musician’s cause of death will not be known until April, it was reported last week. A postmortem examination has taken place, but coroners have said they are awaiting the results of “various tests”.