Friday 28 October 2016

Singer's 'get help' plea after she's told to pay €6k for air rage assault


Dolores O'Riordan
Dolores O'Riordan

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan has urged people with mental illness to seek assistance, telling them to "just reach out for help".

The singer was speaking after being told to pay €6,000 following an "air rage" incident in which a garda and two airport police were assaulted.

Judge Patrick Durcan said he did not believe it was appropriate to impose a criminal sanction in light of the defendant's medical records and mitigating factors.

He ordered her to pay €6,000 to the poor box, which will be used to assist prisoners prior to their release from prison.

Speaking afterwards, Mrs O'Riordan said: "I want to thank the doctors who helped me to get back my health mentally.

"I'm feeling very good today, very positive about this upcoming year. I have a couple of albums coming out and I'm going to go back to work."

The singer agreed people needed to get over the stigma surrounding mental health. She said she would use "music, dancing and performing" to help her move on.

Ms O'Riordan (44) - with an address of Friarstown, Grange, Kilmallock - pleaded guilty at Ennis District Court to assaulting Garda Shane Dawson and two members of the Airport Police at Shannon - Ronan O'Reilly and Eamon Power. She also pleaded to resisting or wilfully obstructing Garda Dawson in the execution of his duty.

Judge Durcan said her early indication of a guilty plea, the fact that she had no previous convictions and was of "unblemished character" - along with the medical reports that she was suffering from a mental illness at the time - were all mitigating factors in the case.

He pointed out that, as a public figure, she was not only subject to the sanction of the court but was also open to sanction by the public.

He accepted that the singer had no memory of the incident due to her illness.

He added that, as a result of this, she was incapable of understanding or recalling what she was doing.


"In light of the above, I view it would be unfair and would be unjust for the court to criminalise the defendant in this case - and I do not propose to do so," said Judge Durcan.

He added she was being treated in the same manner as anyone else with no previous convictions.

The incident followed the singer's removal from an Aer Lingus flight from New York on November 10, 2014, at Shannon Airport during which she shouted: "I'm an icon - I'm the Queen of Limerick."

As she was being arrested the singer escaped from the patrol car.

When apprehended by Garda Shane Dawson, Ms O'Riordan turned around and head-butted him, before spitting in his face.

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