Dolores O’Riordan will forever be associated with her hometown of Limerick, but for many years she divided her time between Ireland and a small lakeside town in Ontario.
In 1994 Dolores married Canadian Don Burton with whom she had three children. Initially the family lived in Limerick and then Dublin whilst spending summers in rural Canada, but in 2009 they relocated to Buckhorn, Ontario full time.
Dolores spoke openly about being abused as a child and the how the pressures of fame had become hard for her to manage at times. However, she found the vast beauty of the Canadian outdoors rejuvenating.
“What’s amazing is — I actually have problems getting it into my head — Canada is so big, right? And Ireland’s small you know; you drive from coast to coast in three hours. You can really get lost here, and I like that,” she said told the Canadian Press at the time.
“The seasons are so dramatic here — from the snow in the winter to the beauty of the autumn, the colors of the leaves falling — so I have a piano outside my window and sometimes I start off there with ideas, just using nature as a backdrop.”
Local cafe owner Jay Nutt told the Irish Mirror that the singer had fit in well into the tight knit community.
“She was always very engaging and charming and she interacted equally with whoever was serving her, whether that was me as the owner or any of the staff," he said.
"In our experience she was always very nice and down to earth. It was very surprising and saddening to see the news on Monday."
In 2013 Dolores and her husband split up and she returned to Ireland to live.
Regardless, when news of her death hit the media it broke hearts not just in Ireland but in Canada where she had made so many friends.
“She maintained a love for Canada until the end,” music journalist Alan Cross assured readers of Canada’s Global News last week.
And indeed she traveled to the Great White North to see her children as recently as the New Year, tweeting a picture of herself at the airport on the way to Toronto.
Heading to YYZ to see my babies ❤️❤️❤️happy new year everyone! pic.twitter.com/zRJueGRX1s— Dolores O'Riordan (@DolORiordan) December 26, 2017
O’Riodan will be buried today (Jan 23) in a family plot in Limerick, but whilst her body will forever rest in Irish soil a part of her heart will surely always belong to Canada.