One More Celeb drowned in bathtub after drinking too much

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Dolores O’Riordan drowned in the bath after drinking an excessive amount of alcohol, a coroner has said.

The 46-year-old Cranberries singer was found unconscious in a bath at the Hilton hotel in Park Lane on 15 January.

Delivering a verdict of accidental death due to alcohol intoxication, Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said it was a “tragic accident”.

The Irish singer was discovered when a maid entered room 2005, and found her submerged face-up in the bathtub wearing a pair of pyjamas and a long-sleeve vest.

Her nose and mouth were underwater, and later tests showed her lungs to be waterlogged.

Dolores O'Riordan, pictured here in 2000, was found dead last week
Dolores O’Riordan, pictured here in 2000, had a history of drinking too much

PC Natalie Smart, who was one of the first people to enter the hotel room, said attempts to revive the singer were unsuccessful.

O’Riordan was pronounced dead at 9.16am.

Tests showed the singer’s blood alcohol level was four times over the legal limit for driving at the time of her death.

The inquest heard that five miniature bottles of alcohol – as well as a 35cl bottle of champagne – were found in her room.

O’Riordan had also called her mother at about 3am on the morning of her death.

O'Riordan's was laid to rest in her home town of Ballybricken
O’Riordan’s was laid to rest in her home town of Ballybricken

There was no evidence of drug use other than prescription medication which she took for bipolar disorder.

No other evidence of injury or self-harm was evident, and no note was found.

Describing her condition as “in remission”, her psychiatrist, Dr Seamus O Ceallaigh, told the court she was in good spirits and looking forward to the future when he saw her just a week before her death.

He said he believed she had “suffered an episode of mania or elevated mood”.

Dr O Ceallaigh also described a previous incident when – during a time of stress – the singer had become intoxicated and begun writing a suicide note, but had lapsed into unconsciousness before taking any further action.

He also said while O’Riordan had maintained sobriety over long periods, he recognised her use of alcohol as a high-risk factor.

A report from the singer’s US psychiatrist, Dr Robert Hirschfield, said he understood she had stopped drinking and seemed to be doing well, although he said she had felt a little low over Christmas.

The Cranberries in 2002
The Cranberries in 2002

In her summary, the coroner said the singer – who was due to return to New York after visiting London – had been looking forward to making new music, touring and seeing her three children in Canada.

She had been in the capital to record a version of her hit song Zombie with heavy metal band Bad Wolves. Sadly, she never got to make that recording.

As well as her immense musical achievements, the artist was described as a “loyal daughter” and a “dedicated and loving mother” to her three children, Taylor, 20, Molly, 16, and Dakota, 12.

The singer split from her husband of 20 years – former Duran Duran tour manager Don Burton – in 2014.

O’Riordan’s mother, brother and sister-in-law were at Westminster Coroner’s Court to hear the verdict.


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