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Berkeley balcony collapse

The six students who lives were tragically lost in the Berkeley balcony collapse of 2015 have been honoured in a special ceremony.

Niccolai ‘Nick’ Schuster, Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Lorcán Miller and Ashley Donohoe were remembered at the service in California.

A memorial plaque was unveiled in their honour, which featured a quote from James Joyce: “They lived and laughed and loved and left.”

The plaque reads:

“Berkeley, named after an Irish philosopher, will forever remember the six young adults from America and Ireland, guests in this city, who tragically died near this spot in a balcony collapse at 2020 Kittredge Street early in the morning of June 16, 2015.

“Here, the families of those who passed and the community of Berkeley have joined hands to establish a permanent memorial.”

The families of the six students attended the moving service. They recently marked the third anniversary of the horrifying accident on June 16.

Speaking of the tragedy, Ireland’s Ambassador to the USA, Daniel Mulhall said: “The Berkeley balcony collapse of June 2015 was a terrible tragedy and one which had an enormous effect on Ireland. The depth of grief, shock and sorrow was immense – six young lives so tragically and prematurely ended and serious injury inflicted on so many.”

“I would like to pay tribute to the first responders, medical staff and our wonderful Irish community who provided such fulsome support for everyone affected, especially the young people and the families directly involved,” he added.

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Yesterday, the family of Berkeley survivor Aoife Beary shared some amazing news on the Friends of Aoife Beary.

According to the Facebook post, Aoife is continuing to make some significant improvements in her recovery. 

The 21-year-old is now out of the high dependency unit and she is getting ready to begin rehabilitation in the facility she is being treated for brain injuries in. 

She still has some way to go in terms of rehabilitation "this will involve a daily schedule of physio, occupational and speech therapy at the Center, 6 days a week for the coming weeks" and her family will be helping her every step of the way.

Aoife is also joined by other survivors Clodagh Cogley, Niall Murray and Hannah Waters as they are all receiving treatment. 

Having spent the last 2 weeks in the high dependency unit, at last Aoife has started her rehabilitation programme at…

Posted by Friends of Aoife Beary on Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Following the balcony collapse on June 16th, Aoife and three other survivors have remained in the Santa Clara Valley medical centre. Other survivors Sean Fahey, Conor Flynn and Jack Halpin.  

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A concert is being held to raise funds to help the survivors of the Berkeley balcony collapse.

A number of Irish acts will come together to play a gig at Dublin’s The Academy on July 23rd to raise money to go towards the students that have suffered life-altering injuries from the tragic incident last month.

The event will be hosted by Westlife’s Nicky Byrne. Performing acts include Jape, Dublin Gospel Choir, The Fontaines and many more.

The family of one survivor, 21-year-old Clodagh Cogley, earlier posted photos of the Trinity student in the rehabilitation centre where she is recovering from the fall.

They thanked the public for their support saying that, “The outpouring of support for Clodagh has been truly amazing and the donations to Clodagh’s fund so generous.”

Suffering from a broken spinal cord amongst many other injuries, Clodagh posted a touching message herself last month. She said, “The thing I’m taking from this tragedy is that life is short and I intend to honour those who died by living the happiest and most fulfilling life possible.

“Enjoy a good dance and the feeling of grass beneath your feet like it’s the last time because in this crazy world you never know when it might be.”

Tickets for The Academy gig are €25, with an option to donate extra funds. They are on sale from Ticketmaster tomorrow at 9am. 

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