Tuesday 28 January 2020

Flight attendant suing late star Dolores' estate

Dolores O'Riordan
Dolores O'Riordan
Flight attendant Carmel Coyne is suing the estate of Dolores O'Riordan

A flight attendant caught up in an alleged air-rage incident five years ago which saw Cranberries star Dolores O'Riordan removed from an Aer Lingus plane is proceeding with a damages claim against the late singer's estate.

Carmel Coyne, of Cappagh Road, Galway, is also suing Aer Lingus over the incident on November 10, 2014.

The High Court personal injury proceedings were initiated in early 2017.

Yesterday, Tadhg Dorgan, for Ms Coyne, applied to the court for orders amending the title of the case to allow it to be brought against the personal representatives of the singer's estate.

Counsel told Mr Justice Charles Meenan that the personal representatives had informed his solicitor they would consent to the amendment order.

Granting the application, the judge made orders replacing Ms O'Riordan's name in the title with that of the personal representatives - Peter J O'Riordan, of Kilmallock, Limerick, and Nollaig Hogan, of Glin, Co Limerick.


In an affidavit grounding the application, Emma Colleran, of Michael Houlihan and Partners, solicitor for Ms Coyne, said the case arose out of an incident on November 10, 2014, when Ms Coyne was a senior cabin crew member on a Aer Lingus flight from New York to Shannon.

Ms O'Riordan was a passenger on that flight and it is alleged she deliberately caused injury to Ms Coyne by stamping on her foot and physically attacking her.

It is also alleged Ms O'Riordan restricted Ms Coyne's liberty and/or freedom of movement. Ms Coyne claimed damages against the singer for alleged assault, battery, false imprisonment and breach of Ms Coyne's right to privacy and to earn a living.

It is claimed as a result of the incident Ms Coyne was out of work for seven months.

In a defence delivered in July 2017, Ms O'Riordan, a mother-of-three, had denied the claims.

Inspector Tom Kennedy told a previous court hearing over the incident in 2015 that the Cranberries singer also spat in the face of and kicked out at an Airport Police Office (APO).

Insp Kennedy said that the then-44-year-old mother of three told an APO: "You can't arrest me. I'm an icon. I'm the Queen of Limerick. You don't know who you are dealing with.

"I pay my taxes so I pay your wages and I am going to sue."

He told Ennis District Court in 2015: "Ms O'Riordan was quite irrational, quite aggressive, quite difficult."

Insp Kennedy added that Ms O'Riordan also "head butted" Garda Shane Dawson and "spat into his face". Solicitor for Ms O'Riordan, Bill O'Donnell, said that "these were the actions of a very, very ill person".

"Clearly from the evidence, she was somewhat out of control," he said.

On January 15 last year, Ms O'Riordan (46) was found dead in a bath in a hotel room in London.


An inquest later concluded she drowned in the bath while intoxicated with alcohol.

The coroner, Shirley Radcliffe, said what happened "seems to be solely a tragic accident".

Ms O'Riordan was being treated successfully for bipolar affective disorder and there was no evidence she was feeling suicidal, the coroner said.

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