Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan accidentally drowned in the bath after a night of heavy drinking alone in her hotel room, an inquest heard today.

The Irish singer was found 'face up in the bath dressed in her pyjamas' fully-clothed in the bath of her room at London's Hilton Park Lane on January 15.

The 46-year-old mother-of-three from Kilmallock, County Limerick, who had battled alcoholism, had drunk spirits and champagne and was four times over the legal driving limit when she died.

Her inquest was held today at Westminster Coroner's Court on what would have been her 47th birthday. There was no evidence or self-harm and no suicide note in her room.


The inquest heard that there were empty bottles in the room - five miniature bottles and a bottle of champagne.

The hearing, which was attended by O'Riordan's mother Eileen, brother PJ and sister-in-law, was told that she was in touch with room service at around midnight.

Police investigation

Police found the minibar was activated around 2am, and she phoned her mother at around 3am. She was later found unresponsive and confirmed dead at 9.16am.

PC Natalie Smart, who attended the scene, said: 'I saw Mrs O'Riordan submerged in the bath with her nose and mouth fully under the water.'

'There was a third of a bottle of champagne and several miniature bottles of alcohol. There was a quantity of tablets left that were in the bottles.

'We did a full skin and body check; no marks, no blood in the water, no injuries. There were no signs of disturbance and the door was locked from the inside.'

Asked by the coroner whether there was any sign of a note, she said: 'Not that we could find. There was nothing left behind - no note.'

London Ambulance Service paramedic Mark Vials said in a statement that she was found face up in the bath 'wearing a long-sleeved vest and pyjama bottoms'.


Prescription drugs were found and she had got through a pack of cigarettes. Tests showed only 'therapeutic' amounts of medication in O'Riordan's blood.

But they also revealed 330mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood - meaning she was more than four times the 80mg legal limit for driving.

Star had battled alcohol

O'Riordan had abstained from alcohol for most of the last three years but relapsed during a trip to Canada, the court heard.

Her psychiatrist, Seamus O'Ceallaigh, said: 'There was (alcohol abuse) although Dolores had maintained sobriety over prolonged periods.'

O'Cellaigh told the court that he had last seen O'Riordan on January 9 and she seemed in 'good spirits, no thoughts of suicide, no evidence of self-harm'.

He added: 'She said she was planning to release two new albums and looking forward to the future. She had plans for her life.'

O'Cellaigh said O'Riordan was likely in the midst of an 'episode of mania' or 'elevated mood' at the time of her death, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Cranberries.
The Cranberries.

The singer's American psychiatrist, Dr Robert Hirschfield, said they last spoke on December 26 last year.

He said in a statement read to the court: 'She said that she was doing well overall. She wasn't drinking, little sad on Christmas Day but no thoughts of suicide.'

The court heard how Dolores had written a suicide note in September last year but lost consciousness before completing it.

Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said: 'Dolores O'Riordan was a hugely successful singer with a very supportive family and children; clearly much loved by many people.

'She had a shortish history of bipolar which she sought treatment for but it would seem she had no significant relapse of mental health.

'But there was an ongoing problem with intermittent alcohol misuse. On January 15 she was found deceased in her hotel room.

'There was no evidence that this anything other than an accident. There was no evidence of intention, it seems it was nothing but a solely a tragic accident.'

Coroner Officer, Stephen Earl, described the Irish singer as a 'loving daughter and dedicated and loving mother'.

Police determined her death was not suspicious but an earlier inquest was delayed as 'various tests' were required.

Music success

The Cranberries formed in the Irish city of Limerick at the end of the 1980s and shot to fame with their 1993 debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?.

They went on to sell more than 40million records and had international hits in the 1990s with songs including Dream, Linger and Zombie.

O'Riordan, who suffered bipolar disorder and depression throughout her career, had a distinctive and powerful Irish voice which helped fuel the band's rise.

The Cranberries split in 2003 before reforming in 2009. In 2014, O'Riordan split from her husband of 20 years, former Duran Duran tour manager Don Burton.

Then in 2017, The Cranberries announced a tour including dates in Europe, the UK, and the US. She had also been working on a new studio album with the bad.

But last May - shortly into the European tour - the group had to cancel the remainder of the European dates as a result of O'Riordan's health issues.

Dolores had been in London to record a cover version of The Cranberries classic Zombie with the band Bad Wolves - a track which was posthumously released.

Following her death, her boyfriend and D.A.R.K. bandmate Ole Koretsky said 'the love of my life is gone' .

Vials said 'her partner' was in the room next door but it is not known if he was referring to DJ and producer Mr Koretsky, who O'Riordan began dating in 2017.

Her bandmates - Noel Hogan, Fergal Lawler and Mike Hogan - said after the hearing today: 'On January 15 2018 we lost our dear friend and band mate Dolores O'Riordan.

'Today we continue to struggle to come to terms with what happened. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Dolores' children and her family and our thoughts are with them today.

'Dolores will live on eternally in her music. To see how much of a positive impact she had on people's lives has been a source of great comfort to us.

'We'd like to say thank you to all of our fans for the outpouring of messages and their continued support during this very difficult time.'

Her mother Eileen said previously that she spoke to her daughter at 2am on the morning she died, just seven hours before the singer was found.

She said: 'I got a call around nine o'clock the same morning that something was wrong. It was a couple of hours before I knew what happened. It didn't sink in.'

Sales and streams of The Cranberries' back catalogue rocketed by 1,000 per cent in the days after her death.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was among the first to pay tribute to O'Riordan in January, calling her 'the voice of a generation'.

Around 200 people, including her mother, her three children and her six siblings, attended her funeral.

It was held at Saint Ailbe's church in Ballybricken, outside the western city of Limerick, on January 23.

The cause of her death was found to be drowning due to excessive alcohol consumption.