Dolores O'Riordan inquest: 'The Cranberries' singer's death after heavy drinking session called 'accidental'

Dolores O'Riordan had reportedly drunk way more than the legal limit but she was not under the influence of any other drugs other than the ones prescribed to her.


                            Dolores O'Riordan inquest: 'The Cranberries' singer's death after heavy drinking session called 'accidental'

In an inquest, opened to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of 'The Cranberries' singer Dolores O'Riordan, it was heard that O'Riordan had died face up in the bath, dressed in her pajamas. At the time of her death, the singer was apparently intoxicated, with high alcohol levels in her system. 

The 'Zombie' singer was found dead in her hotel room at the London Hilton on Park Lane on January 15. At the inquest, where it was stated that Dolores O'Riordan had drunk almost four times the legal drinking limit, the verdict ruled her death as accidental. According to coroner Dr. Shirley Radcliffe, the 'Linger' singer was found "submerged face up in the bath dressed in her pajamas" in the hotel bathroom, where the body was discovered by a maid. By the time the police arrives, the 46-year-old's nose and mouth were completely submerged. The police also discovered five miniature bottles of spirits, a 35cl mini bottle of Champagne and a smoked packet of cigarettes, along with "the packaging for a quantity of medication".



 

However, there has been no evidence of the singer taking any drugs other than her prescribed medication. Radcliffe mentioned that the singer was certainly looking forward to her bright career in music, and seeing her children in Canada. But, according to the report given by Dolores's US psychiatrist, Dr. Hirschfield, the singer had apparently suffered a "little low" during Christmas, but at that time she had also stopped drinking and was seemingly doing well. Her prescribed drugs were mostly used to help her control her bipolar disorder. Her Irish psychiatrist, Dr Seamus O’Ceallaigh, on the other hand, mentioned that Dolores would have episodes of mania or elevated moods, and although she maintained her sobriety, consuming alcohol could be a huge risk to her. 

Dolores had suffered from several phases of depression in the past few years, before her death. (Getty Images)
Dolores had suffered from several phases of depression in the past few years, before her death. (Getty Images)

It was also mentioned in court that in 2017 the singer had suffered a "time of stress" when she had drunk excessively, and tried to write a suicide note, but "lapsed into unconsciousness". O'Riordan earlier revealed that she was sexually abused when she was eight years old. Speaking to Life Magazine in 2013, she mentioned that she was abused for four years from the age of eight by someone close to her. "It gets hard as well when you have daughters because you get flashbacks when you’re with them and when you are watching them. You wonder, ‘How can anyone get satisfaction in any way, you know?" 

Eileen understood that her daughter was quite vulnerable following her split with the former Duran Duran manager. (Getty Images)
Eileen understood that her daughter was quite vulnerable following her split with the former Duran Duran manager. (Getty Images)

Over the years, as Dr O’Ceallaigh claimed, O'Riordan went through several devastating phases of her life. She was absolutely broken when she lost her father to cancer back in 2011. She told Billboard, "I  felt him around me a lot for a while. I could feel him trying to protect me and communicate with me."

In 2014, the singer went through another phase of depression when her 20-year marriage with the former tour manager for Duran Duran, Don Burton, came to an end. Her mother, Eileen O'Riordan had told the Limerick Leader newspaper that she was in a very vulnerable situation. 

"She is going through a marriage separation at the moment. That's hard for anyone," Eileen told the newspaper. Mentioning that she was under the care of doctors and nurses, Eileen also said, "She has a nurse with her and a doctor who visits every day because she can't go out.