BREAKING: Shock at sudden death of Cranberries front woman Dolores O'Riordan

The Cranberries front woman has died in London

Aine Fitzgerald and Alan Owens

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Dolores O'Riordan performing at the City of Culture celebrations in Limerick on December 31, 2013 Picture: Ken Coleman

Dolores O'Riordan performing at the City of Culture celebrations in Limerick on December 31, 2013 Picture: Ken Coleman

The news has emerged that international rock star Dolores O'Riordan has sadly died.

While the circumstances of the 46-year-old's death are as yet unknown, it is understood that the frontwoman of The Cranberries - a native of Ballybricken - passed away in London.

"My heart goes out to the family. Dolores was their pride and joy. We all loved her very, very much," said family friend Canon Liam McNamara.

"She got on well all the way through her life. I was very disappointed to hear today that she has left us so early in life. Her family did so much for her and supported her all the way through," added the priest, who was a co-celebrant at Dolores' wedding to tour manager of rock band Duran Duran, Don Burton in Holycross Abbey in County Tipperary in 1994 and also officiated at the funeral Mass of Dolores' father Terry in Ballybricken in 2011.

Fr James Walton, priest in Dolores' home parish of Ballybricken, also expressed his deepest sympathies to the family.

“I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to the family. I am just going down to meet the family now,” he added.

Dolores shot to fame in the early 1990s as frontwoman of The Cranberries. The Ballybricken native auditioned for the band after the departure of its previous lead singer and they would go on to sell over 40 million records worldwide.

The Limerick group became a global rock sensation and one of the most successful bands of the ‘90s. They earned worldwide fame for hits including Zombie, Linger and Dreams. O’Riordan’s unique vocals featured on the band’s five original albums before taking a hiatus in 2003. The singer released two solo albums during the break.

The Cranberries reformed in 2009. In 2017, the group cancelled their European and US tours due to illness after Dolores cited back issues.

The group sold more than 40 million records worldwide during a stellar career.

Just last year, The Cranberries released new album Something Else, featuring acoustic versions of their hits recorded with the Limerick-based Irish Chamber Orchestra’s string quartet, along with three new songs, last year.

They had played in Belfast and Dublin last summer, but not in their native city. They did play a short set in Thomond Park stadium in June 2010 for the Special Olympics opening ceremony.