In Limerick, Ireland, thousands of fans gathered to say goodbye to Dolores O’Riordan, the lead singer for The Cranberries who died on Jan. 15 at the age of 46. Friends and family mourned her loss on Sunday as the deeply religious O’Riordan lay in an open casket, decorated with white roses, wearing black and holding a pair of pearl rosary beads. Thousands of fans from all over the world (including as far as Spain and China) lined up in the rain to pay their respects to their beloved singer in a four-hour public repose at St. Joseph’s Church. The Irish Times described the public viewing as “a tribute normally reserved for Presidents, Popes, and heads of state.” Limerick County, home to the singer, began a three-day mourning period for her loss.
The Irish Times reports that the singer’s greatest hits played in the church as mourners silently paid their respects. Fifty of O’Riordan’s former classmates from Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ (a secondary school in Limerick) each carried with them a single daffodil, which they laid beside the altar. Flower ornaments from Cranberries band members Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawlor read: “The song has ended, but the memories linger on.” The day O’Riordan died, the band tweeted a brief remembrance:
With the public now getting the chance to say goodbye, the family moves to repose O’Riordan’s remains in Cross’s Funeral Home later today before attending a private funeral on Tuesday at 11.30 a.m. local time in St Aible’s Church. O’Riordan’s final resting place will be in Caherelly Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest next to her late father Terry.
O’Riordan’s cause of death is still unknown. While the singer passed away unexpectedly during a stay in London, police have said that her death is not being treated as suspicious. The coroner’s office stated that it might be until April before more information will be made public. But the cause of death hardly seems irrelevant in light of the outpouring of sadness caused by O’Riordan’s loss. In Ireland and around the world, dignitaries, heads of state and public figures join hands with fans and family alike to remember one of Limerick’s most famous daughters.
Revisit The Cranberries’ performance of “Dreams” during Woodstock ’94 in a video from the Paste Cloud below, and watch O’Riordan explain the story behind one of the band’s biggest hits here.