Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan has pleaded guilty to headbutting and spitting at a police officer in an incident at Shannon Airport in Ireland last year.

O'Riordan admitted four offences including assault and obstructing a Garda officer in the incident that followed a flight from New York's JFK.

In evidence read to the court, Inspector Tom Kennedy said the singer-songwriter's behaviour was at first erratic and irrational, then unruly and irate, before coming threatening and aggressive. 'Ms O'Riordan was very belligerent,' he told the court. 'She said "you are not going to arrest me. I am an icon. I'm the Queen of Limerick, I pay my taxes, I pay your wages. I'm going to sue you".'

Adrian Pannett, Head of Disruptive Passenger Training at Securicare said, “The escalation seen in this incident unfortunately follows a predictable pattern. Someone becomes angry or hostile, and then words give way to actions. It means that crews, or anyone attending the incident, have to have an array of techniques and strategies to deal with the situation..”

The court heard that medics have suggested O'Riordan was suffering hypomania, sleep deprivation and paranoia at the time of the incident. Adrian continues, “The case highlights the complexities faced by crews. The aircraft can be a convergence point where fatigue, fear or frustration combine with alcohol or, as is the case here, an undiagnosed mental health condition. The culmination is a piece of challenging or disruptive behaviour that needs to be managed.. and managed safely and lawfully.. What the crews need is the right knowledge and the correct skills..”

 

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