O'Riordan, 43, was detained at Dublin's Shannon airport at 5.30 a.m. Monday after she landed on an Aer Lingus flight coming from New York.
The Garda (Irish police) confirmed that a woman in her forties had been detained on the plane and was taken to a nearby police station, where she would remain in custody for a maximum of 24 hours under Irish law.
A police spokesman said a Garda agent had also been assaulted during the arrest.
Media said the air hostess was wounded in a foot and was taken to hospital to receive treatment and be examined, while the police agent did not require hospital care.
O'Riordan, who has three children, became famous as The Cranberries' lead singer in the nineties with numbers like "Zombie", "Dreams or Linger", and has sold more than 40 million records worldwide.
The Irish band dissolved in 2002, but got back together in 2012 to go on a world tour and release their last album, "Roses".