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Funeral of Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan takes place

Mourners carry the coffin carrying The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan following her funeral. Credit: PA

The funeral of Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan has taken place in her hometown church in Ireland.

The voice of Dolores filled the rural Co Limerick church as a funeral mass for the Cranberries singer began.

A duet of Ave Maria sung by O'Riordan and Luciano Pavarotti marked the start of the service in the Church of Saint Ailbe in Ballybricken, Co Limerick.

The funeral was held at a church in the hometown of Dolores. Credit: PA

The singer died suddenly on 15 January while staying in London for a recording session, aged 46.

O'Riordan - who was also a member of alternative rock group DARK - had been working on a new studio album with The Cranberries in the months before her death.

Eileen O'Riordan (centre) following the funeral of her daughter Dolores O'Riordan. Credit: PA

Her boyfriend and fellow DARK band member Ole Koretsky was among mourners at the service.

Her ex-husband Don Burton and the couple's three children - Taylor, Molly and Dakota - joined the singer's mother Eileen, her sister Angela and brothers Terence, Brendan, Donal, Joseph and PJ in the small parish church.

The order of service for the funeral of The Cranberries singer. Credit: PA

Canon Liam McNamara said O'Riordan's voice was worth its weight in gold.

"Her kind personality and beautiful singing voice earned for her numerous admirers," he said.

"It must be added that the numbers she rescued from the darkness of depression are impossible to count.

"No words are adequate to describe Dolores or to accurately state the influence for good she has been over the years."

Pipers arrive for the funeral of The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan at Saint Ailbe's Church, Ballybricken. Credit: PA

O'Riordan's haunting version of the hymn Panis Angelicus was played in the church.

Kieran O'Reilly the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly said: "Since we heard of the sudden death of Dolores O'Riordan, many hearts in Ireland and around the world are heavy with sadness on hearing the news.

"Indeed, the great outpouring of sympathy and love for Dolores which we have seen since her death is a witness and a tribute to her great musical talent and very special voice by her many fans and lovers of music.

"Dolores put her God-given talents at the service of others."

Archbishop O'Reilly hailed O'Riordan's voice as "unique, far reaching and distinctly Irish".

"Her gifts have resonated in the lives of many and will continue to do so as her music and her songs will continue to be played and listened to," he said.

At the close of the service, The Cranberries' song When You Are Gone rang around the church as the singer's coffin was carried to the adjacent graveyard for a private burial service.

Mourners broke into a spontaneous round of applause.

Ole Koretsky arrives for the funeral of his girlfriend, The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan. Credit: PA
Two hearses, one carrying her coffin and another carrying floral tributes arrived at the church on Monday night. Credit: PA

Family and close friends of Dolores accompanied her to her home town church in Co Limerick on Monday night ahead of her funeral.

Candles lit the streets as her coffin was brought to the Church of Saint Ailbe in Ballybricken.

Two hearses, one carrying her coffin and another carrying floral tributes, arrived at the church shortly before 9.30pm.

Earlier, hundreds of people had gathered outside Cross's Funeral Home in Ballyneety where her remains were in repose.

Irish President Michael D Higgins paid his sympathies to the singer's family and signed a book of condolence.

"It was very important to pay tribute to the contribution Dolores made," said Mr Higgins.

"It is so moving, so profoundly sad that somebody so young is taken from us.

"She was a star that shone bright from the very beginning," he added.

At midday, independent radio stations across Ireland simultaneously played The Cranberries song 'When You Are Gone' in tribute to the singer.

"How lovely is it that all the radio stations in Ireland are playing when you're gone by the cranberries at the same time as a tribute to Dolores! So Sad everyone's silent in work! RIP" wrote one woman on Twitter.

O'Riordan was renowned for her distinctive voice and The Cranberries enjoyed huge success in the 1990s with tracks including Zombie and Linger.

Sales and streams of the band’s back-catalogue have rocketed in the days since her death.

Dolores O'Riordan became a multi award-winning musician after becoming lead singer of the band when she was just 18. Credit: PA

On Monday night hundreds of of people gathered in Limerick's Arthur's Quay park to pay tribute to the singer.

Musicians played songs by The Cranberries as the crowd sang along.

People at the event uploaded videos to social media showing others singing and holding candles.

One of the videos shows crowds singing to the song When You're Gone.

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Police said O'Riordan’s death was "unexplained" and an inquest heard that tests are still ongoing in an effort to establish the cause.

She became a multi award-winning musician after becoming lead singer of the band when she was just 18 and went on to sell tens of millions of records.

In May 2017 The Cranberries cancelled a string of shows after O'Riordan was instructed by her doctors to stop working for a month for medical reasons associated with a back problem.

A further set of shows in North America, due to take place in September and October, were cancelled in July.