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berkeley tragedy

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It's been five-and-a-half months since six Irish students lost their lives in the Berkeley balcony collapse.

Survivor Clodagh Cogley was one of seven friends seriously injured in the accident, but last night her family shared an extremely positive update about her health.

"Clodagh has now returned to university in Dublin," the post on the 21-year-old's GoFundMe page read.

"She resumed her studies initially while continuing to receive in-patient rehab hospital treatment.

"We're pleased to tell you that she's also now moved back into her family home."

Clodagh, who is a Psychology student at Trinity College Dublin, suffered a broken spine, broken knee and shoulder, two collapsed lungs, and five broken ribs in the fall.

"Solutions to adapt the family house are nearly completed so that she may resume a normal life," the post continued.

Clodagh herself posted to Facebook shortly after her accident to let friends, family and the public know how she was getting on.

"[T]he chances of me using my legs again are pretty bleak… Not the best odds but I'm moving to a great rehabilitation centre here in San Francisco for two months," she wrote.

"Who knows maybe legs have been holding me back all these years and I'll realise my talent for wheelchair basketball."

Since the accident, over €100,000 has been raised in Clodagh's honour to cover medical funds and the adaptation of her family home for wheelchair use.

Eoghan Culligan, Nick Schuster, Lorcán Miller, Eimear Walsh, Ashley Donohoe and Olivia Burke were all killed in the tragedy, which saw the balcony they were standing on in a Berkeley student apartment collapse.

The group had been celebrating the 21st birthday of Aoife Beary, one of the seven injured.

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A truly heart-warming picture has captured the attention of the country this week as brave Clodagh Cogley shared a photo of herself crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

Clodagh, 21, was one of the students involved in the Berkeley tragedy earlier this summer.

The Milltown native has longed dreamed of crossing the San Francisco bridge and this week she and her dad managed to tick it off of her bucket list.

While at the rehabilitation facility in Santa Clara Valley, Clodagh made excellent progress and was able to return home to Ireland earlier than expected last week.

A Facebook page launched to help raise funds to ensure Clodagh’s home can be adapted to her needs now that she is in a wheelchair wrote an update for the public:

“We arrived back in Ireland on the August weekend and Clodagh is now settling in into the next phase of her rehabilitation. The staff in Dublin are also wonderful so it is really good to make such a smooth transition.”

Just a week after the tragedy, which left five Irish students and one Irish-American student dead, Clodagh took to social media to share an inspiring message.

Hey friends, just an update to let you guys know how I'm getting on (slowly catching up with the individual messages I…

Posted by Clodagh Cogley on Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Despite breaking her spinal cord, she said she intended to give her rehab “everything I’ve got.” While she acknowledged the chance of her using her legs again were “pretty bleak”.

In spite of her injuries and the tough road to recovery, Clodagh’s positive mind set is proving to be very inspiring for friends, family and the Irish people.

Three of the seven students injured in the accident in June, Aoife Beary, Niall Murray and Hannah Water are continuing to receive treatment for serious injuries they sustained in the accident.

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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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As the devastation and heartbreak of the Berkeley tragedy rings around the world, perhaps the only place where solace can be found is in the outpouring of support and solidarity that has been seen since the fatal tragedy.

As families and friends mourn the tragic loss of loved ones, several Irish students have been left facing life-altering injuries.

One of these students is Clodagh Cogley, 21. Clodagh survived the fall when her friend, Jack Halpin, 21, grabbed her and helped break her fall. A spokesperson for the Cogley family said that “both of them sadly came off as badly as each other”.

Since Ms Cogley’s survival, her brother Darragh has been providing her friends with updates of her condition, and he also tweeted to see if they could get support from JK Rowling, and from Stephen Fry.

And thankfully, his call has been answered.

Author of the Harry Potter books, JK Rowling, has tweeted at Clodagh wishing her a quick recovery and sending love to her friends and family.

Clodagh is a native of Milltown in Dublin 6, and previously attended the well-know Alexandra College. She is the granddaughter of legendary RTÉ rugby commentator, Fred Cogley, and is a student at Trinity College.

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