herald

Saturday 22 September 2018

Dolores was 'full of life, joking and excited' in her final message

The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan
The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan

Dolores O'Riordan was "full of life" only hours before her sudden death and had been enjoying life with her musician boyfriend of two years, Ole Koretsky.

Just over two weeks ago, Koretsky shared a photo of the couple celebrating New Year's Eve with the caption: "NYE: take away, TV, pajamas."

The two, along with former bassist with The Smiths Andy Rourke, formed a band called D.A.R.K in New York.

O'Riordan and Koretsky are understood to have started a relationship in 2015 and he has been a frequent visitor to Ireland with her ever since.

Session

The late singer's friend, Dan Waite, revealed that he was one of the last people to hear from her.

The record label boss, who was due to attend a recording session with O'Riordan and rock band Bad Wolves, said she left a voice message on his phone on Sunday night in which she sounded "full of life".

"Dolores left me a voice message just after midnight stating how much she loved Bad Wolves version of Zombie; she was looking forward to seeing me in the studio and recording vocals," he said.

"She sounded full of life, was joking and excited to see me and my wife this week.

"The news of her passing is devastating and my thoughts are with Don, her ex-husband, her children and her mother."

Funeral details are expected to be made known later this week.

Police in London confirmed they are not treating 46-year-old O'Riordan's death on Monday in the London Hilton on Park Lane as suspicious.

The Westminster coroner is leading the investigation.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out. As part of the investigation, toxicology tests will also be conducted.

Once the post-mortem examination is completed, O'Riordan's remains will be released to her family to be taken home to Ireland.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said officers in Westminster were called to the hotel just after 9am on Monday. O'Riordan was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious. A report will be compiled for the coroner," said the spokesman.

While funeral details have not yet been finalised, it is expected that the mother-of-three will be laid to rest in her native Limerick.

She had travelled to London to take part in a recording session with Bad Wolves. They were due to record a cover of The Cranberries hit Zombie with her.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the band's singer, Tommy Vext, said they were shocked at O'Riordan's death and "heartbroken" that the collaboration will not now go ahead.

"We are shocked and saddened at the news of Dolores's passing, mere hours before she was to record vocals on our upcoming version of Zombie," they wrote.

"Zombie is an incredibly personal song and although we are a hard rock band, we always felt the rawness and honesty she projected on stage and in her recordings was something to which all bands should aspire, regardless of genre.

"When we heard she liked our version and wanted to sing on it, it was the greatest compliment a new band, or any band for that matter, could have received.

"Our hearts are broken that we were not able to see this collaboration through and our deepest condolences go out to her family, friends, loved ones and fans in Ireland and around the globe."

Bravery

Zombie was written by O'Riordan in memory of 12-year-old Tim Parry and three-year-old Johnathan Ball, who were killed in the IRA's bombing of Warrington in 1993.

Peace campaigner Colin Parry, the father of Tim, paid tribute to her and her "bravery" and "compassion" in writing the song.

Speaking to the Herald, he said: "The very fact she recorded a song in sympathy and in remembrance for the boys was terrific.

"I can't say I knew much about The Cranberries, but for an Irish band, and Irish woman, to do that, it mattered a great deal.

"I know how hard it can be for someone in Ireland to take a stand like that, so I admire her for her bravery, honesty and compassion in recording the song."

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