Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Cranberries star guilty over air rage incident in which Garda assaulted

By Ed Carty

Published 17/12/2015

Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan outside Ennis District Court yesterday
Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan outside Ennis District Court yesterday

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan has pleaded guilty to headbutting and spitting on a police officer following an air rage incident.

The multi-million selling Irish artist told officers during her arrest at Shannon Airport on November 10 last year that she was an "icon" and the "queen of Limerick".

O'Riordan, who has since been diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder, admitted four offences including assault and obstructing a Garda during the incident following a flight from New York's JFK Airport.

Ennis District Court in Co Clare was told she accused a Garda officer of groping her and sexually assaulting her during the arrest, a claim that was later retracted.

The court heard O'Riordan, who medics have suggested was suffering hypomania, sleep deprivation and paranoia at the time of the incident, threatened to sue arresting officers.

She also told them she paid their wages when they attempted to take her out of first class after flight EI 110 landed in Shannon at 4.45am.

In evidence read to the court, Inspector Tom Kennedy said the singer-songwriter's behaviour was at first erratic, then unruly, irate, threatening, irrational and aggressive.

"Ms O'Riordan was very belligerent," he told the court.

"She said: 'You are not going to arrest me. I am an icon. I'm the queen of Limerick, I pay my taxes, I pay your wages. I'm going to sue you'."

Alcohol was not a factor, the court was told.

O'Riordan, dressed all in black and wearing black sunglasses on her arrival at the courthouse, did not give evidence in person. She was supported at the hearing by her mother Eileen and one of her brothers.

Judge Patrick Durcan ordered O'Riordan to write letters of apology to all those affected in the incident while he considers sentencing.

The 44-year-old mother-of-three children aged 18, 14 and 10, who now lives in New York and is back working in the music business, will be sentenced at a date to be fixed next year.

With an address at Friarstown, Kilmallock, Co Limerick, she is renowned for her distinctive singing voice.

She separated from her husband in the year before the incident, the court was told.

O'Riordan's solicitor Bill O'Donnell did not contest any of the evidence given to the court, and said the marriage break-up put her under huge emotional stress.

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph