Hundreds of people descended upon Limerick this weekend to attend a memorial service for the late Dolores O’Riordan, former singer of the Irish band The Cranberries.
O’Riordan, who was raised in Co Limerick, tragically passed away on January 15, 2018. The 46-year-old Irish singer drowned in a bathtub in a hotel room in London. An inquest later found that O'Riordan was intoxicated at the time of death.
A memorial service to mark the one year anniversary of her death was offered on Sunday at St Ailbe’s Church, Ballybricken and Bohermore, Co Limerick. O’Riordan’s family was joined by fans from around the world made a “pilgrimage” to attend the service and remember the Irish singer.
Amongst the approximate 300 people in attendance were O’Riordan’s mother Eileen, her siblings, and members of The Cranberries Mike and Noel Hogan and Fergal Lawler.
BreakingNews.ie reports that one “superfan,” Enrique Rivas, traveled all the way from London to pay his respects at O’Riordan’s first-anniversary mass.
Rivas said: “Since I was a kid, ten or eleven years old, I’ve grown up listening to her music. It’s really emotional for me coming here. It was to close the year, coming back to this place.”
It was the third trip for 32-year-old Rivas, who added: “I was here last July so I had the chance to go to the cemetery. I left some flowers and today I will leave my bandana.”
O’Riordan’s gravestone at Caherelly Cemetery is frequently visited by fans, who have taken to leaving notes, flowers, and even guitars at the site.
Fr James Walton, who presided over the memorial mass, said the “small rural community of neighbors and friends come together once more to remember Dolores and to support her family as they continue to come to terms with their loss”.
He added: “hundreds of people have been visiting this church to pray for Dolores and also making their way to Caherelly Cemetery, now a place of pilgrimage for her devoted fans, to pay their respects to her, and to leave there a memento of their visit.”
“Dolores brought joy, solace, and inspiration to the lives of so many people, and continues to do so, based on the emails that I have received, and the fans that I have met over the past year,” he said.
“I know the past year has been tough for the O’Riordan family in coming to terms in dealing with the untimely death of a beloved daughter and beloved sister, of coming to the realization that she is not coming back,” Fr Walton said.
“And so, the words of another Cranberries song... ‘Hold on to love’...so hold onto your memories of Dolores, hold onto your beliefs and dreams as she did.”
“Hold onto the inspiration, the joy, solace, and empathy, that her voice, her music, and her life’s story has brought to so many.”