Cranberries singer drowned accidentally in bath

Late singer-songwriter Dolores O’Riordan, frontwoman of the multi-million-selling rock band The Cranberries, accidentally drowned in a hotel bath, a coroner ruled. (AFP)
Updated 06 September 2018
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Cranberries singer drowned accidentally in bath

  • The singer, who died aged 46, was found in the bath in her room at the Park Lane Hilton hotel on January 15
  • Zombie, an angry response to the deadly Northern Ireland conflict, hit number one across Europe

LONDON: Late singer-songwriter Dolores O’Riordan, frontwoman of the multi-million-selling rock band The Cranberries, accidentally drowned in a hotel bath, a coroner ruled Thursday.
The singer, who died aged 46, was found in the bath in her room at the Park Lane Hilton hotel on January 15.
Coroner Shirley Radcliffe in London ruled that the cause of death was accidental drowning, but found no evidence of injuries or self harm.
Policewoman Natalie Smart described attending the scene and finding O’Riordan “submerged in the bath with her nose and mouth fully under the water.”
“There’s no evidence that this was anything other than an accident,” said the coroner.
The Cranberries achieved international success in the 1990s with their debut album “Everyone Else is Doing it, So Why Can’t We?,” which included the hit single “Linger.”
Follow-up album “No Need to Argue” went to number one in Australia, France and Germany, and number 6 in the United States.
The album also gave rise to politically-charged single “Zombie,” an angry response to the deadly Northern Ireland conflict, which hit number one across Europe. The band sold around 40 million records worldwide.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was among the first to pay tributes, calling O’Riordan “the voice of a generation.”
Around 200 people, including her mother, her three children and her six siblings, attended her funeral, which was held at Saint Ailbe’s church in Ballybricken, outside the western city of Limerick, on January 23.


Distracted biking: Dutch ban for cyclists using mobile phones

Updated 26 September 2018
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Distracted biking: Dutch ban for cyclists using mobile phones

  • The government is to ban the use of all but hands-free devices while cycling
  • Cycling is a way of life in the Netherlands, where bikes outnumber people

THE HAGUE, Netherlands: The sight of cyclists hurtling along while glued to their smartphones is a common one in the bike-mad Netherlands, but it will soon be illegal.
With a growing number of accidents involving phones and bikes, the government is to ban the use of all but hands-free devices while cycling.
“It is forbidden to use a mobile electronic device while driving any vehicle (including a bicycle),” says the draft law announced by Transport Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen late Tuesday.
The bike law will take effect from July next year.
Car and lorry drivers are already banned from using mobiles at the wheel unless they are in hands-free mode, with a maximum fine of €230 ($260), but the new law specifically mentions bikes.
The fine is likely to be the same for cyclists but the government is awaiting the result of a public consultation, Nieuwenhuizen said.
“It’s just as dangerous on a bike and on all types of vehicles as it is in a car,” she said. “The fact is that when you are on the road you have to pay full attention and not send messages or do other things on the phone.”
Michael Kulkens, who has campaigned for a ban since his 13-year-old son Tommy-Boy was killed in a bike accident while looking at a phone in 2015, welcomed the change in the law.
“I had to stop my car at the side of the road and the tears welled up in my eyes when I heard on the radio that the ban on the bike is coming,” De Telegraaf newspaper quoted him as saying.
“In my mind, I said: ‘We did it Tommy-Boy. We did it.’”
Cycling is a way of life in the Netherlands, where bikes outnumber people, with an estimated nearly 23 million cycles for some 17 million people.
But while it boasts outstanding infrastructure for cyclists across its flat landscape, the use of mobile phones is a growing hazard, with a smartphone involved in one in five bike accidents involving young people, according to the Dutch Road Safety organization.
Nelly Vollebregt, president of the Dutch road accident victims association, who is herself in a wheelchair after a bike accident caused by a motorist who was looking at a phone, said that 25 percent of the 613 people who died on Dutch roads last year were killed by distractions.
Last year the Dutch town of Bodegraven launched a trial of foot-level traffic lights for pedestrians to prevent them straying into roads or cycle lanes while glued to their mobile screens.