An Honorary Doctorate of Letters was conferred posthumously to Dolores O’Riordan by the University of Limerick on January 18th. Her mother, Eileen accepted the doctorate on behalf of the former Cranberries star.
Honorary Doctorates of Letters were also presented to O’Riordan’s bandmates, brothers Noel Hogan (guitarist), Mike Hogan (bassist) and also Fergal Lawlor (drummer).
University of Limerick honorary doctorates are bestowed on individuals who have shown outstanding achievement, nationally or internationally, in the arts, sciences, business, industry, the professions, sport, social service or public service.
The ceremony came just three days following the singer’s first anniversary. O’Riordan’s body was found submerged in a bath in her bedroom in a London hotel in January last year. An inquest in September 2018 found that she had drowned with high levels of alcohol in her system.
Eileen was emotional as she held on to the gown that her daughter would have worn to accept the award. “I suppose we have to move on, haven’t we…we have to. I know that Dolores is happy and she is in heaven, and that makes me happy,” she said.
She added, “She (Dolores) loved Limerick and she was very proud of Limerick and she was happier in Limerick than anyplace else. I keep telling the children how much everyone loved her, and what a support it is.”
Niall Hogan said that while feelings were “very mixed”, that the day was seen as a “celebration of Dolores and the band.”
“It’s amazing to be back here because in many ways we began in this university, playing what was the Stables at the time,” he added, “It’s kind of come full circle that nearing the end of The Cranberries’ career that we are back.”
The university had originally intended to present the doctorates to the band members in April 2018. However, due to work commitments, it prevented them from being able to accept the award at that time.
UL President Dr Des Fitzgerald said, “It is with very sad regret that since that time the world and more importantly her family and bandmates have lost Dolores O’Riordan and her incredible voice. We very much appreciate her family’s presence here today.