Classics Du Jour


Cranberries Singer Dolores O’Riordan’s Cause of Death Revealed

Dolores O'Riordan in 2010
O’Riordan performing with the Cranberries in 2010. CC BY 2.0. Credit: Alterna2

Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan died by drowning as a result of intoxication, according to an inquest into her sudden death in January of this year.

O’Riordan was found submerged in a bathtub in her room at the Park Lane Hilton hotel in London, where she had been staying during a recording session. Police performed CPR but were unable to revive her. She was pronounced dead at 9:16 am on January 15th.

According to the Guardian’s report, the inquest, held Thursday on what would have been her 47th birthday, found that O’Riordan’s blood alcohol level was 330mg per 100ml of blood – more than four times the legal limit for driving. A number of empty liquor bottles were found in her room at the time of her death as well as evidence of use of prescription drugs.

“There’s no evidence that this was anything other than an accident,” said coroner Dr. Shirley Radcliffe. “There was no intention, this seems to be solely a tragic accident.”

O’Riordan reportedly struggled with bipolar disorder and alcohol abuse for years.

“We continue to struggle to come to terms with what happened,” said the singer’s bandmates in a statement released after Thursday’s hearing. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to Dolores’ children and her family and our thoughts are with them today. Dolores will live on eternally in her music.”

O’Riordan was born in Co. Limerick, Ireland in 1971. In 1990, she joined the Cranberries, replacing original lead singer Niall Quinn. Over the course of the band’s career, they’ve sold over 40 million records. In 2017 they released their latest album but had to cancel tour dates due to O’Riordan’s health issues.

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