THE LATE Dolores O’Riordan is an unlikely icon for Irish rugby fans outside her native Limerick. But needs must in the face of Ooh Ah…, ‘The Fields of Athenry’ and ‘Sean South of Garryowen’.
Thus, the recent enthusiasm by some media for the song ‘Zombie’ and efforts by other commentators to depict O’Riordan as being ‘anti-war’. But this characterisation is not something the singer would have agreed with and she would have been a little non-plussed at the applause from south Dublin liberals.
Dolores O’Riordan was from a pious, working-class family and she had some tough and decidedly non-pacifist attitudes to miscreants of any kind. One brother was an officer in Limerick Prison, which may or may not have helped form her opinions on law and order.
These attitudes included her support for capital punishment, which caused a stir when she first voiced it in the mid-1990s. She also exhibited a strong sense of the need for punishment and redemption of prisoners via penal servitude of the harshest kind, espousing the need for prisoners to “bleed” for their crimes (see The Phoenix 25/10/96).
There is no doubting O’Riordan’s hostility to IRA violence but she was not Joan Baez and would not have likened herself to the radical folk singer. Nor did she have socialist-republican views like Sinéad O’Connor.