Cranberries singer fined over air rage incident

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan (centre) leaves Ennis District Court flanked by her mother Eileen and solicitor Bill O'Donnell, after she avoided a criminal conviction and was fined 6,000 euro (�4,690) for head-butting and spitting on a police officer following an alleged air rage incident
Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan (centre) leaves Ennis District Court flanked by her mother Eileen and solicitor Bill O'Donnell, after she avoided a criminal conviction and was fined 6,000 euro (�4,690) for head-butting and spitting on a police officer following an alleged air rage incident

Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan has avoided a criminal conviction and been fined 6,000 euro (£4,690) for head-butting and spitting on a police officer following an alleged air rage incident.

The multimillion-selling artist pleaded guilty last December after being arrested at Shannon Airport in Ireland on November 10 2014 following a disturbance on a transatlantic flight.

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan (centre) leaves Ennis District Court flanked by her mother Eileen and solicitor Bill O'Donnell, after she avoided a criminal conviction and was fined 6,000 euro (�4,690) for head-butting and spitting on a police officer following an alleged air rage incident

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan (centre) leaves Ennis District Court flanked by her mother Eileen and solicitor Bill O'Donnell, after she avoided a criminal conviction and was fined 6,000 euro (�4,690) for head-butting and spitting on a police officer following an alleged air rage incident

The singer, who was diagnosed as suffering bipolar disorder after the incident, admitted four offences including three assaults and obstructing a garda after being taken off an Aer Lingus flight from New York’s JFK airport.

As she was being arrested, O’Riordan told officers that she was an “icon” and the Queen of Limerick.

Medical reports given to the court showed she had been suffering mania and was mentally ill when the incident occurred.

At Ennis District Court on Wednesday, Judge Patrick Durcan said it would be unfair to impose a criminal conviction on the Cranberries star.

“Let me be utterly clear that the defendant is not being treated any differently than anyone else,” he said.

The judge asked for the money to be paid to a charity which helps prisoners ahead of their release from jail.

Leaving the courthouse supported by her mother, Eileen, one of her brothers and her solicitor, Bill O’Donnell, O’Riordan urged other people suffering mental illness to “reach out for help”.

“I don’t really have much to say, just that I’m glad it’s over,” she said.

“I want to thank the doctors that helped me to get back to my health mentally.

“I’m very good today, very positive about this coming year.

“I have a couple of albums coming out and I’m going to go back to work.”

Imposing the fine, Judge Durcan said he was taking into account O’Riordan’s early plea, that she had accepted the evidence and had written apologies to the victims, a garda and two airport police officers.

The singer had no previous convictions and the judge described her as having an unblemished character.

“The defendant accepted that serious wrong had been done and the defendant approached the righting of that wrong in a very responsible, fulsome and wholesome manner,” he said.

“I’m of the view that it would be unfair and would not be just to criminalise the defendant in this case.”