Dolores O'Riordan death: The Cranberries singer died by drowning in bath due to alcohol intoxication, inquest hears

'There's no evidence that this was anything other than an accident,' coroner says

Thursday 06 September 2018 12:35
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Dolores O'Riordan performs with The Cranberries in Paris 1999

Dolores O’Riordan, frontwoman of The Cranberries, died by drowning due to alcohol intoxication, an inquest has heard.

The Irish songwriter who died in January was found submerged in the bath of her room at Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, London. Aged just 46, she had been staying there while recording.

Coroner Shirley Radcliffe told an inquest at Westminster Coroner’s Court that the cause of death was drowning due to alcohol intoxication after she became unconscious in the bath.

“There’s no evidence that this was anything other than an accident,” she said.

PC Natalie Smart, who attended the scene, told the inquest: “I saw Mrs O’Riordan submerged in the bath with her nose and mouth fully under the water.”

The inquest heard that there were empty bottles in the room – five miniature bottles and a bottle of champagne – as well as containers of prescription drugs with a quantity of tablets in each container.

Toxicology tests showed only “therapeutic” amounts of medication in O’Riordan’s blood, but showed up 330mg of alcohol per 100mls of blood – meaning she was more than four times the 80mg legal limit for driving.

Describing her as a “very determined and strong-minded person”, in a statement O’Riordan’s family said: ”We knew our Dolores as a loyal daughter, fun-loving sister and above all a dedicated, loving mother to her children Taylor, Molly and Dakota.”

“We are immensely proud of Dolores’s many achievements. Coming from rural County Limerick, our Dolores dared to dream the impossible dream and achieved phenomenal global success and fame in her chosen career.”

Offering their condolences to her family, her bandmates said she would “live on eternally in her music”.

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“Today we continue to struggle to come to terms with what happened,” they said.

They added: “To see how much of a positive impact she had on people’s lives, has been a source of great comfort to us. We’d like to say thank you to all of our fans for the outpouring of messages and their continued support during this very difficult time,” they said in a statement.

After forming at the end of the 1980s , the band had international hits in the 1990s, with songs including “Dream,” ‘’Linger” and “Zombie.”

O’Riordan , who was also a member of alternative rock group called DARK, had been working on a new studio album with The Cranberries in the months before her death.

The mother-of-three had been in London to record a cover of “Zombie” with hard rock band Bad Wolves when she died.

Sales and streams of The Cranberries’ back catalogue rocketed by 1,000 per cent in the days after her death.

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