Information for the media on the funeral liturgy for Dolores O’Riordan RIP

23 Jan 2018

Please see below words of sympathy by Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA                                                                                                                                                                                            

  • Media

At 11.30am today the Funeral Mass for the late Dolores O’Riordan RIP, late of Ballybricken & Bohermore and Canada and former member of the Cranberries, will be celebrated in Saint Ailbe’s Church, Ballybricken, Co Limerick, in the Archdiocese of Cashel & Emly.  Canon Liam McNamara, family friend, will be chief celebrant of the Mass which will be attended by family, neighbours, friends and by the local community.  Father James Walton PP, Ballybricken & Bohermore, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, Archbishop of Cashel & Emly and Archbishop Emeritus Dermot Clifford will concelebrate the Mass which will be followed by private family burial.  As the Church has a limited capacity of two hundred seats, attendance inside the Church is strictly reserved for family, relatives and parishioners only.  Out of respect for the solemnity of the Mass, and to provide privacy and space to the family, the use of camera equipment by media within the Church, or its grounds, is forbidden before, during and after the Funeral Mass.  A designated area has been reserved – and clearly identified – for use by camera journalists and other media in a field across the narrow road from the Church.  

Public Safety

In conjunction with An Garda Síochána, stewards will facilitate mourners and help to direct traffic.  As Saint Ailbe’s Church is on the bend of a narrow road, parking is very limited and priority will be given to members of the family, friends, neighbours and parishioners.  The Gardaí will have a one-way traffic management plan in place and the co-operation by everyone in attendance would be appreciated.


Live 95FM (local radio station in Limerick) will broadcast the celebration of this Funeral Mass.  For inquiries about audio feeds please contact Declan O’Sullivan of ‘Star Systems’ on +353 (0) 86 255 4769.  A public address system will be in place to relay the Mass to those attending outside of the Church.  

  • Mass

Please see below information for media on the funeral liturgy of Dolores O’Riordan RIP:

Chief Mourners: Mother – Eileen; children – Taylor, Molly and Dakota and their father; sister – Angela; brothers – Terence, Brendan, Donal, Joseph and PJ; brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, other relatives and a large circle of friends.

Music at the Mass will be performed by Irish Chamber Orchestra (ICO) Quartet.

Presentation of Symbols
Two symbols from Dolores’ musical career, a guitar and a platinum disc award, will be brought to the altar by her niece, Eileen, and a life-long friend, Teresa.  Dolores’ nephew, Patrick, will present a picture of Our Lady of Dolours, after whom Dolores was named and the picture originally belonged to the great, great, great, grandmother of Dolores.  Breffni, a life-long friend of Dolores will bring up a poetry book.

Entrance Ave Maria (CD recording sung by Dolores and Luciano Pavarotti)

First Reading read by Angela (sister)                                               
A reading from the Book of Wisdom

The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God, no torment shall ever touch them.  In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die, their going looked like a disaster, their leaving us like annihilation; but they are in peace.  If they expressed punishment as men see it, their hope was rich with immortality; slight was their affliction, great will their blessing be.  God has put them to the test and proved them worthy to be with him; he has tested them like gold in a furnace, and accepted them as a holocaust.  They who trust in him will understand the truth, those who are faithful will live with him in love; for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm The Lord is my Shepherd
Sung by Katie and Noelle (nieces)

Second Reading read by Alan (nephew)      
A reading from the First letter of Saint John

We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves.  God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God and God lives in him.  Love will come to its perfection in us when we can face the day of judgement without fear; because even in this world we have become as he is.  In love there can be no fear, but fear is driven out by perfect love: because to fear is to expect punishment, and anyone who is afraid is still imperfect in love.  We are to love, then, because he loved us first.  Anyone who says, ‘I love God’ and hates his brother is a liar, since a man who does not love the brother that he can see cannot love God, whom he has never seen.  So this is the commandment that he has given us, that anyone who loves God must also love his brother.

The word of the Lord.

Alleluia (All stand)

Gospel read by Father James Walton PP
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory.  All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separate sheep from goats.  He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.  Then the King will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, you whom my Father has blesses, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you have me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.’  Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink?  When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?’  And the King will answer, ‘I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.’

The Gospel of the Lord

Homily preached by Canon Liam McNamara
This Irishman was very popular in the local community.  All looked forward to his performance on stage yearly.  He specialised in singing jovial songs.  But sadly he died suddenly.  Nobody could replace him.  He was terrified as he joined the queue facing the Divine Judge.  He felt he had done very little good in life.  As Christ flickered through the various Books of Life, he could hear clearly how those in front of him were doing.

“I was hungry and you gave me food” – Yes, in you go to heaven.  “I was in prison and you came to see me” – yes in you go.  Oh!  Our friend got even more nervous – to himself he said, ‘I never fed the hungry or never visited prisoners’!  At last his turn came.  The Lord glanced through his Book – “Not much here”! …Yes there is something. “I was sad/lonely/depressed/sick.  But your funny songs cheered me up and gave me a good laugh.  Go straight in.

The little story is apt today as we celebrate the funeral Mass for our Beloved – Dolores.

When she closed her eyes to this world and opened them in the brilliant light of eternity, how filled with joy she must have been, as she gazed at her Book of Life outlining the numerous ways she lived the Gospel we proclaimed today, which was specially chosen for her Funeral Mass.

Yes, our friend in the story reached out to his local closely-knit community – Dolores reached out to the world.  Her good parents (Eileen & Terry), her family, numerous relatives – NO they weren’t proud, but very grateful to have such a special daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin.  She certainly put her lovely local community of Ballybricken on the map – and not just that, but Limerick City, and the entire county of Limerick.

Her kind personality and beautiful singing.  Voice earned for her numerous admirers.  It must be added that the numbers she rescued from the darkness of depression are impossible to count.  No words are adequate to describe Dolores or to accurately state the influence for good she has been over the years.

My first meeting with her was in 1989.  The memory is indelibly written on my mind.  There she is, sitting at the keyboard, playing and singing with the choir in this lovely Church of Saint Ailbe.  That very well deserved appointment was made by my predecessor – Father John Dwyer – a very good friend also of the family.  May his gentle soul rest in peace.  She possessed a very special singing voice – a talent worth its weight in gold.  Intelligent girl that she was, she knew well that she should develop and use that talent.  She also knew that talents were given by almighty God to be used generously for the benefit of others.

She did share the view of Martin Luther King – I quote – “Each of us has a duty to work earnestly to discover and develop our talents”.  These talents are to be used for the honour and glory of God, and for the benefit of others.

Dolores did have an enquiring mind.  I wondered one day why she enquired about Saint Gregory the Great.  He did have a great interest in Church Liturgy and music, and standardised the use of chant in the Church – the reason why we call it Gregorian Chant.  In her visits to various monasteries (Mellery, Glenstal, Roscrea) she loved to listen to the monks chant Vespers (evening prayer) and Compline (night prayer).  Monasteries had a special appeal to her.  Perhaps it was the heavenly odour of monasticism in Holy Cross that prompted her to celebrate her marriage in Holy Cross in 1994.

She did have an unique respect for everybody.  Coupled with that respect, her kind, loving and generous heart, made her a source of great hope to the Church, during its stormy years.  For that we sincerely thank her from our hearts.  Speaking personally – it was not unusual to receive from her a little word of support, encouragement, advice – always given quietly, in a whisper – ‘Mind yourself’ …. ‘I want you and all the clergy around while I’m there’.  How happy she must be today?

This is a difficult day not just for Ballybricken, but for the world.  It is a sad day for Eileen and for the entire O’Riordan family.  For all those who possess the strong faith of Eileen, they know well that we have not lost that gifted and talented singer.  Now she is singing in the heavenly choir – hymns of petition for us.  Yes, being human we shall miss her gentle hand-shake, her loving smile.

To her good mother (24/7) good Samaritan to all, her siblings – Brendan, Terence, Donal, PJ, Joseph, Angela; her nephews, nieces, in-laws, relatives and friends.  To you we say – ‘our sincere sympathy’.

To the children she dearly loved – Donny, Taylor, Molly, Dakota (your father Don).  To you we say – ‘our sincere sympathy’.

To those who were part of her life – Cranberries band mates (Noel, Mike, Fergal).  To you we say, ‘our sincere sympathy’.

Yes we all share in the pain of bereavement with the O’Riordan family.  Bereavement is a very deep, tender wound.  In our sorrow, Saint Paul, gives us some consolation – referring to Christ, he says – “By his wounds we are healed”.  It is our sincere prayer that by his precious wounds, healing will begin without delay; and strengthen your hope, that our beloved Dolores, is now re-united with her father, Terry, her baby brother, Gerard, grandparents, relatives and friends, in the presence of the Lord and Our Lady of Dolours; in the heavenly kingdom, where there is no more pain or suffering or separations; but only joy and peace for all eternity.  If tears are shed in heaven – by necessity they are tears of joy.  Yes, tears of joy, following an excellent performance by Dolores, in the most important and vital gig of all – the Gig of Life itself. 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hAnam            

Prayer of the Faithful: read by Dolores’ five Godchildren – Brandon, Colm, Gerard, Luke and Megan:

  1. The late Saint John Paul II occupied a special place in the heart of Dolores.  As we pray for all young people in today’s world, may his words be indelibly written in their hearts – “Christ is the answer to all our questions, and the solution to all our problems.”
  2. From the heart, we remember those who were very special and supportive to Dolores – Her loving Mother, Eileen, her siblings, her children Taylor, Molly, Dakota and their father Don, her numerous relatives, and her Cranberries band mates, Noel, Mike and Fergal. 
  3. We pray for Archbishop Kieran, Archbishop Emeritus Dermot, all our priests and religious.  May the Lord give them all the guidance they need to continue proclaiming the Good News of Salvation.
  4. We remember Dolores’ Father, Terry.  May she be reunited with him and all the other relatives and friends, where there is no more sorrow, or weeping, or pain, but only eternal happiness in the Kingdom of Heaven.
  5. We pray for the sick, especially those who suffer from mental illness.  May the Lord heal them and may they receive the understanding and support of their families, neighbours and society at large.

Offertory Procession of the Bread and Wine
Presentation of the offertory gifts by Jamie and Ben (nephews).

Instrumental piece by ICO Quartet.

Eucharistic Prayer 3 of the Mass

Instrumental pieces by ICO Quartet.

Communion Reflective Piece
Panis Angelicus (CD of Dolores)

Words of sympathy by Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA, Archbishop of Cashel & Emly
Since we heard of the sudden death of Dolores O’ Riordan, many hearts in Ireland and around the world are heavy with sadness on hearing the news.  Indeed, the great outpouring of sympathy and love for Dolores which we have seen since her death is a witness and a tribute to her great musical talent and very special voice by her many fans and lovers of music.

Dolores put her God given talents at the service of others.  From an early age she had a passion and love for music.  She has been an inspiration and source of encouragement to many young artists over the years.  Her gifts have resonated in the lives of many and will continue to do so as her music and her songs will continue to be played and listened to.  Her singing voice was unique, far reaching and distinctly Irish.

In an interview after meeting the now Saint Pope John Paul II, Dolores stated that her faith was one of her greatest musical influences.  She said the Church had nurtured her development as an artist and musician and, for her, her faith was always important – a source of strength in her life.

Dolores will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her, particularly her family, friends and the people of her native Limerick who held her close to their hearts.

Our thoughts and prayers are with her mother, Eileen, Children, Sister, Brothers and wide circle of friends, especially in the music world, who have worked with Dolores over the many years of her career.

We commend Dolores to the loving and tender care of our God.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Words of gratitude
Father James Walton PP

Final commendation
Mass will conclude with the Final Prayers of Commendation and farewell.  This will involve Archbishop O’Reilly incensing the coffin and blessing with holy water during the final prayers which will be led by Canon McNamara.  The recessional hymn When you are gone will be played as Dolores’ remains are carried from the Church.

Recessional Hymn
When you are gone (CD of the Cranberries)

The remains of Dolores will be interred in the local cemetery.  This is strictly private and media are asked to respect the wishes of the O’Riordan family.


For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: 00353 (1) 505 3017 and Katie Crosby 00353 (0) 86 862 3298