Saturday 1 October 2016

Almost €230,000 is donated to help the victims of Berkeley tragedy

Published 20/06/2015 | 02:30

A woman views a memorial in Berkeley for those who lost their lives in the balcony tragedy
A woman views a memorial in Berkeley for those who lost their lives in the balcony tragedy
Irish Immigration Pastoral Center

Almost €230,000 has been raised for the victims and families of the Berkeley disaster.

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There has been an outpouring of kindness in the wake of the tragedy, which claimed the lives of six young Irish people.

Supporters from around the globe have pledged financial support to the victims and their families to assist with transport, accommodation and medical costs.

Just over €135,000 has been pledged online through the 'Irish J1 Berkeley Tragedy Fund', which was kick-started by the Irish Immigration Pastoral Centre, which is based in San Francisco.

The fund, which was opened online on Tuesday, had last night raised $154,148 (€135,951) from 1,463 different donors. The largest amount given was €10,000, while a number of other groups and individuals pledged €5,000 each.

The American Ireland fund has also given $100,000 (€88,188) to the victims.

Celine Kennedy, from the Californian Pastoral Centre, said the reaction has been "phenomenal" and that the money will help "wherever the need arises".

"At the moment we are concentrating on logistics and getting people back.

"It will take care of any hotel costs they have. It will take care of transport costs and hotels that many of the families are facing," she said.

"We have families who are going to be there for a long while, because the recovery period for some of the students will be extended.

"It is going to take care of their housing, it is going to be used to make sure that they are looked after and to make sure that they do not have any excess burden on them."

She also praised Aer Lingus for their efforts to accommodate the grief-stricken families in making the difficult journey to Berkeley.

"Aer Lingus have gone completely above and beyond the call of duty and it has been extended beyond immediate family, and out to extended family and friends." Ms Kennedy added.

  • The account established by the Irish Immigration Pastoral Centre in California is to raise funds for the students affected by the tragedy and their families. They have asked that the public donate what they can. Donations can be made by logging on to www.gofundme.com/j1tragedyfund

Irish Independent

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