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Dolores O'Riordan arrested on flight over alleged air rage and garda head-butt claims

Dolores O'Riordan was arrested today after allegedly assaulting a flight attendant before head-butting a garda officer when the plane touched down.

The 43-year-old former Cranberries singer is being questioned by gardai today following the alleged air rage incident on board a flight to Shannon Airport

O'Riordan - who previously featured as a mentor on RTE series The Voice of Ireland - was travelling on the Aer Lingus flight from New York when the alleged incidents took place.


It is understood that as the plane approached Shannon, flight crew asked Ms O'Riordan, who was travelling in the company of another man, to take her seat.

The mother-of-four refused to obey the instructions to sit down and a stand off ensued.

She is then alleged to have stamped on the foot of a flight attendant and gardai were alerted as the plane landed ahead of schedule at 4.47am.

Two garda officers boarded the flight when it had come to a stand at the arrivals terminal.

As the officers boarded the plane and attempted to take Ms O'Riordan to the waiting patrol car, she allegedly head-butted one garda and spat in his face.

Ms O'Riordan was then put into the patrol car. However, before it had left the runway in front of the airport, she attempted to get out of the vehicle.

She was brought to Shannon garda station for questioning and later transferred to University Hospital Limerick.

The flight attendant, who has been named locally as Carmel Coyle, was earlier brought to the same hospital where her injury is being examined.

It is understood that she will also undergo an x-ray today.

The garda officer did not suffer any serious injury.

It is understood that Ms O'Riordan was highly emotional at the time of the alleged assaults.

One eyewitness said: "I was in sitting in economy with my husband and heard the commotion in business class.

"There was a woman standing up and she was shouting. It was about 20 minutes before landing but to be honest, we didn't think much of it at first.

"It quietened down for a while and after landing it started again.

"We could see all this up along the aisle. We were told by the crew that there was a delay with the steps because ground staff weren't on duty yet. Our flight was nearly and hour and a half early," the witness added.

"When the front door was opened, some people in hi-vis jackets got on and the curtains between business and economy were closed. We could still hear the commotion.

"The curtains were opened a few times and at one stage we saw the woman thumping the ceiling of the plane. It was only after we got off the plane that we heard who it was. She was roaring at the cabin crew and at one stage I heard her say, 'I pay my taxes'," the passenger added.

A spokesperson for Aer Lingus confirmed that an incident took place on board their New York to Shannon flight.

"An incident took place on board flight EI 110 en route from New York to Shannon.

"The matter is being investigated by An Garda Siochana. As this is a security matter we will not comment any further," Aer Lingus said.

Ms O'Riordan is being held on allegations of Section 3 assault and can be held initially for 24 hours under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act before a decision is made whether to charge or release her.

A spokesperson for Ms O'Riordan could not be contacted at time of going to press.


Earlier this year, the Zombie singer announced that she was calling it quits on The Voice of Ireland (inset left) after deciding that the weekly commute from her Canadian home in Ontario to Dublin was just too gruelling.

Her straight-talking attitude made her a hit with viewers but O'Riordan regularly clashed with fellow panellists Jamelia and Bressie.

The petite singer made the decision to relocate to rural Canada last year with her husband of 19 years, Don Burton, and their children.

However, despite her globetrotting lifestyle, she has always maintained a close connection to her home county of Limerick.

Recently she joined Terry Wogan on the list of celebrities who have written a Limerick for a virtual walking tour of the city.