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The Cranberries

I have decided to write about the famous Irish rock group, ‘The Cranberries’, for my text this month.

It all started back in the mid-1980s when Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan, and Fergal Lawler decided to form a band in their garage, inspired by bands such as The Smiths and The Cure. They struggled to find a lead singer until they came across Dolores O’Riordan who they described as ‘quiet as a mouse’ but when she started singing they were ‘blown away’. There was no question that they had found their fourth band member.

As songwriters, Noel and Dolores gelled immediately however they never were in the same room while they both wrote songs. For the first two years, they wrote like crazy trying to make the most out of their bond. Their first track ‘Linger’ did the rounds in London and the band started to get their recognition. “Elvis wasn’t always Elvis, why shouldn’t a small band from rural Ireland make it big?” said Dolores at the time. And make it big they did.

Linger went to number one in both Ireland and the UK and they started their tour of America selling 6 million records worldwide. After that, no one expected Zombie, a song showing the conflict in Ireland at the time. As well as having a massive cultural impact, it also changed the band musically.

After taking a break and then getting back together for a tour and then taking another break, the band got back together in 2017. They recorded half an album just before the tragic passing of their lead singer Dolores who died by drowning due to alcohol intoxication. She was found submerged in the bath of her room at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, London. Aged just 46, she had been staying there while recording. 

The band then shocked by Dolores’s passing, decided to find the demos that she had recorded before she died to finish their final album as a group. After the death of Dolores, The Cranberries may be over in one sense, but the music will forever remain with us.

The text was written in November 2019.

Short bio of the volunteer:

My name is Kelly Quinn. I am from County Donegal in Ireland. I have studied Journalism at university and I am interested in getting a job hopefully either working on television or on the radio. Being in Madeira is such a different experience for me; I get to experience new cultures, meet new friends and also, of course, try the famous ‘poncha’! I am so happy to be here and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my time here will be like. I am hoping by being here and working with the rest of the volunteers, I can improve my public speaking and achieve a higher level of confidence in myself.


Erasmus+ is a program of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth, and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the program acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.