On Tuesday at around lunchtime local time in California (it was past 9pm in Ireland) police authorities named the six young people who were killed in Berkeley: Ashley Donohoe, 22; Olivia Burke, 21; Eoghan Culligan, 21; Nick Schuster, 21; Lorcan Miller, 21, and Eimear Walsh, 21.
They died – four of them by the time emergency services arrived – when the fourth-floor balcony they were standing on collapsed and came crashing down onto the street below.
It is believed that at least seven more J1 students currently remain in hospital suffering from injuries, some of which have been described as “serious or life-threatening”.
The six dead, who would have only arrived in the US in recent weeks, were an exceptionally talented and ambitious group of young people.
Their Irish families are all already en route to California, with most arriving in the late hours of Tuesday and early hours of Wednesday.
Olivia Burke, 21
A former pupil of Loretto Foxrock in Dublin 18, Olivia went on to attend IADT Dun Laoghaire. There, she was studying for a degree in business, entrepreneurship and management, and had just finished her third year exams. As part of her course, she had also recently completed a five-month work-experience stint with East Coast FM. Extremely popular and well-liked by her wide circle of friends, she lived with her family in south county Dublin. A fan of TV shows such as Glee and The X Factor, Olivia furthermore enjoyed keeping fit.
Eoghan Culligan, 21
Eoghan was studying at DIT. A native of Rathfarnham, he attended St Mary's College in Rathmines and sat his Leaving Cert in 2012. Throughout his school years, Eoghan was a keen rugby player, but GAA was his first love. He was a member of his local club, the well-known St Enda's in Ballyboden, since childhood. He had two brothers, Stephen and Andrew. Eoghan also loved travel, and had been abroad several times since beginning his third-level education. Indeed, just a few months ago, he was in south-east Asia on a trip.
Nick Schuster, 21
A classmate of Eoghan's at St Mary's, Nick was sports-mad, and had frequented the popular Pappy's Grill & Sports Bar on Telegraph Ave in the days before his death. Counting rugby, GAA and horse-racing among his interests – he loved Bayern Munich in particular: following the completion of his Leaving Certificate, he even visited the football club to meet his heroes. Studying at UCD prior to his death, he hailed from Terenure in Dublin 6 and his family run the popular Saba Thai restaurant in the capital's city centre.
Eimear Walsh, 21
Eimear was immensely bright and popular and had, like Olivia, attended Loretto Foxrock. Due to graduate in 2018, she was studying medicine at University College Dublin. She had one older brother, and lived at home with her parents in Dublin. Her mother, Patricia, originally hails from Westport in Co. Mayo. Earlier this year, Foxrock-native Eimear went on a UCD-organised ski-trip to the French Alpian region of Les Deux Alps.
Lorcan Miller, 21
Lorcan was also studying medicine at UCD, and was a former pupil at St Andrew's College in Booterstown. He was a member of the school's Junior Cup-winning hockey team in 2012 and was involved in the Bray Hockey Club. Following his Leaving Cert, he went inter-railing around Europe with his school-friends. Lorcan, who lived in Shankhill, also participated in several charity events during his time in university, raising funds for the likes of cancer research.
Ashley Donohoe, 22
Ashley was the only member of the group who didn't grow up in Ireland. A native of Rohnert Park in California, she nevertheless held dual Irish and American citizenship. Olivia Burke, who also died in the accident, was her first cousin. Something of an adventurer, Ashley had been sky-diving and bungee-jumping. She was attending the Sonoma State University, where she was studying biology, and hoped to peruse a career in the health industry upon graduation.