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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 April, 2004, 00:28 GMT 01:28 UK
Rock star rejects neglect claims
Dolores O'Riordan
Ms O'Riordan says her nanny let her down
Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan has hit back at claims that she and her husband neglected their baby and mistreated their nanny.

The rock star branded as "completely untrue" allegations made by her former child minder Joy Fahy.

Ms Fahy, 34, is suing Ms O'Riordan and husband Don Burton for alleged false imprisonment and breach of contract.

But Ms O'Riordan said she had felt let down when the child minder suddenly quit during a family holiday.

Court demands

The child minder is seeking 12,700 euros (9,000), a Cherokee jeep and the deposit for an apartment, which she claims were pledged to her if the one-year verbal contract was ended.

The couple instead say Ms Fahy, who has also worked for U2 drummer Larry Mullen, walked out and let them down.

She first worked for 33-year-old Ms O'Riordan in 1997 as a maternity nurse but the job ended 11 days later after the star decided she was not ready to share her baby.

Don Burton, husband of Dolores O'Riordan
Don Burton often drank too much, claims Ms Fahy
The singer told Dublin's High Court on Friday she had got on well with Ms Fahy and hired her as a child minder in April 1999.

She had joined the Cranberries on a promotional tour of the United States.

But Ms Fahy said when they returned to Killmallock, County Limerick, there were always strangers in the house, many of whom were unknown even to the rock star.


She claimed she was once confined in a bedroom with the baby and no food or drink until 3am.

Ms Fahy said Mr Burton, 41, often drank excessively.

Joy Fahy
Ms Fahy says she was confined to a room with the baby until 3am
Ms O'Riordan dismissed such allegations, saying: "He never drinks during the day. Maybe in Hawaii on the beach but not in the house, he doesn't do that."

The singer also ridiculed a claim she had told Ms Fahy to dunk her son in cold water to wake him up and ensure she could sleep uninterrupted.

The idea came out of a joke, she said.

Sacked or quit?

Ms Fahy says she was dismissed during a two-week holiday in Canada in June 1999.

On the way to the airport, she says, Mr Burton told her she would be expected to stay and look after the baby for at least six weeks - something Ms O'Riordan denied.

Ms Fahy claimed there had been no food or provisions at the holiday home and accused the couple of neglecting her while they went on long shopping trips and drank too much.

Ms O'Riordan rejected the claims, saying: "We were tired, jet-lagged. There was no drinking. There were provisions in the house."

She also denied claims her husband had let one of the children on a jet ski without a life jacket.

'Let down'

During the trip, it emerged Ms Fahy wanted to go back to Ireland.

Ms O'Riordan said: "It was very bad timing. I couldn't believe she would play around like this. It was the first time we had really relied on her and she was letting us down."

Ms Fahy alleged Mr Burton was abusive and drunk. The singer admitted her husband "gave out" to Ms Fahy.

She said: "His voice level was raised. He was upset. He told her she was very unprofessional."

The next day Ms Fahy returned to Ireland.

The case was adjourned until next Tuesday when Ms O'Riordan will be cross-examined.

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