Friday 30 September 2016

Berkeley tragedy: Injured joined at bedsides by family as messages are sent from home

Published 19/06/2015 | 02:30

Aoife Beary
Aoife Beary
Hannah Waters
Conor Flynn
Jack Halpin
Niall Murray (Pic: Facebook)
Sean Fahey (Pic Facebook)
Clodagh Cogley

Hannah Waters & Aoife Beary - Highland Hospital Oakland, California

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DCU student Hannah Waters (21) and UCD’s Aoife Beary (21) remained in critical condition in Highland Hospital last night in Oakland, where both girls have been joined at their bedsides by their families.

They are considered the most seriously injured following the balcony collapse.

Hannah’s mother Una, who has been studying in DIT and is awaiting exam results today, has been in touch with friends to say that Hannah’s condition remains very serious, however the family were hopeful. She has undergone a number of surgeries and more are planned.

Una Waters also thanked people who had been in touch about Hannah – a graduate of Loreto College, St Stephen’s Green, from Castleknock in Dublin. Hannah’s father Martin was on business in Australia when news of the accident broke and flew straight to the US.

Her brother Marty also thanked those who had offered support to his family on his Facebook page yesterday.

“Just want to thank everyone for their kind words of support during these tough times. It really means a lot. I’ve arrived in America to be with my family and more importantly my little sister who is staying strong and battling through, hopefully she can recover as quick as possible. My thoughts and condolences are with the families and friends who have lost their loved ones.”

Also in Highland Hospital, located around 16 miles from the scene of the accident, is Aoife Beary from Blackrock, whose 21st birthday was being celebrated. Her father Mike has been thanking people for their support on his Twitter page. He thanked Aoife’s secondary school Loreto Foxrock and her college UCD. He added she was receiving excellent care and it is understood she has undergone surgery and may require more.

Conor Flynn & Jack Halpin - John Muir Hospital, Walnut Creek

JUST over 17 miles from the site of the horrific accident, the families of Conor Flynn and Jack Halpin were holding a bedside vigil for their children who were seriously injured.

Conor (22) attended DIT and prayers were offered at a service in the college yesterday for him and his friend and fellow student Eoghan Culligan, who died in the tragedy.

Conor, from Mount Merrion, Dublin, is a second year marketing student.

His sister Erin thanked her family and friends for “their amazing support and touching messages”.

“I am so, so thankful that my brother Conor was one of the lucky ones,” she wrote on social media.

Conor often attended Bushy Park Rangers football games where he cheered on his friends Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster and Jack Halpin, who were all caught up in the tragedy.

Mount Merrion Youths Football Club also expressed their support for Conor, who played with the club several years ago.

“Our thoughts and prayers and support go to Conor, his family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time,” the club said.

Tributes also flowed for Jack Halpin (21) who has been hailed as a hero in the wake of the tragedy.

The St Jude’s footballer sustained two broken legs and is also being treated for back injuries. The UCD graduate attempted to break the fall of Clodagh Cogley by grabbing her during the incident.

Dublin GAA fan club the ‘Hill 16 Army’ said that his actions were the “perfect example” of his heroic nature.

“We take our hats off to Jack for his heroic bravery and our thoughts and prayers are with the students and their families that they all make a swift recovery,” they added.

Niall Murray, Sean Fahey & Clodagh Cogley - Eden Medical centre Castro Valley

“THANK you to everyone across the world for all the support you have given us through this dark time.

“To Nick, Culli, Lorcan, Eimear, Olivia and Ashley, words can not describe how much we are going to miss you all. May you rest in peace forever xxx,” those were the words Niall Murray wrote from his hospital bed.

The 21-year-old from Rathfarnham took to social media last night to remember his friends, including best friend Niccolai Schuster.

Before studying at NUIG, Niall attended St Mary’s College with many of the other victims.

He is being treated in the Eden Medical Centre in Castro Valley with Sean Fahey and Clodagh Cogley.

Sean Fahey also posted his thanks online.

“Thanks everyone for the support in such a dark time,” he wrote.

He also uploaded an image which displayed the words “Berkeley six, rest in peace”, in honour of his friends who died.

The 21-year-old Rathmines native attended St Mary’s College alongside the late Niccolai Schuster and Eoghan Culligan.

Clodagh (21) was said to be recovering well in the same hospital last night.

Her brother Daragh revealed she had an operation on her spine, knee and shoulder, and said she was “awake and upbeat” despite the ordeal she has been through.

Friends of Clodagh last night also took to social media to ask ‘Harry Potter’ author JK Rowling to send a message of support to her, the granddaughter of legendary sports commentator Fred Cogley.

They told the writer on Twitter that she was listening to audio tapes of the book, which she is fanatical about, as she lay in her bed in intensive care.

Irish Independent

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