Irish singing legend back on tour after beating cancer and booze

Dolores Keane has spoken about how her spell in rehab helped her turn her life around and helped her beat the booze for good.

Dolores Keane
Dolores Keane

The former De Dannan star had fallen into a downward spiral. She was in such a bad place that she eventually stopped singing.

She told the Irish Mirror: “My family and friends, fair play to them, could see me going downhill.

“I had so much weight loss. I wasn’t eating properly. I wasn’t looking after the house. I wasn’t paying bills. I wasn’t doing anything I should be doing.”

For a spell she stayed indoors and drank alone every day and admits that she didn’t even know how much she was drinking.

Eventually she decided she was unable to perform anymore. She said: “I was so far down I couldn’t even enjoy the sound of my own voice any more.

“I couldn’t give anything to songs I was singing as I would never sing a song unless it came out with meaning. That had gone.”

However, Keane decided to reclaim control of her life and in July last year she checked herself into Hope House, a centre that provides a safe and comfortable environment for women suffering with addiction.

She said: “I had heard about Hope House and looked up the number in the Golden Pages and booked myself in.

“I firmly believe that. There is something magical about that place, but it is the people who run it, they are totally professional.”

Keane also spoke of her cancer battle. When she was at hope house she discovered that a lump in her breast was cancer. She may have if she had been somewhere else.

She said: “I think God works in mysterious ways. I was strong enough to face the cancer then.

“And the people at Hope House – they were so good about it and everything was done so fast for me.”

She refused to believe that the cancer would beat her. She said: “To be honest with you I wasn’t one bit afraid.

“I had the lump removed and then had chemo and radio treatment and I must say the surgeon, Dr Barry, did a lovely job – he will love me saying this.

“The first time I cried actually was when I was given the all-clear. I never cried before that.”

Thankfully, Keane has now put her demons firmly in the past and is ready to revive her singing career. She is embarking on a nationwide tour of Ireland which will start on 27 June at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin.

Categorized as Blog

By Michael Kehoe

Michael Kehoe is a writer for Irish Music Daily and Ireland Calling. His favourite Irish Music bands are Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys.