Wednesday 7 December 2016

Funds to help victim families closes on €200k

Robin Schiller

Published 19/06/2015 | 02:30

Mourners stand by during a candlelight vigil for six Irish students
Mourners stand by during a candlelight vigil for six Irish students

Almost €200,000 has so far been raised to help the families of the six Irish students who died when a balcony collapsed in Berkeley, California earlier this week.

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Funds have been set up to help the families repatriate their loved ones, as well as the support groups who are aiding relatives and friends of the students.

The American Ireland Fund announced it will donated $100,000 "to support those who are providing care and assistance on the ground", in particular the San Francisco Irish Immigration Pastoral Centre (IIPC).

It comes as an official account established by the Pastoral Centre has raised more than $125,000 (€110,000) in less than 24 hours.

The gofundme account, called 'Irish J1 Berkeley Tragedy Fund', was set up by Celine Kennelly of the IPCC on the day of the tragedy, and hundreds of people from the US and Ireland, as well as other countries have contributed to the fund.

The tax-deductible donations raised will be used to "support and assist the immediate needs of the families and students in Berkeley". A separate donation account set up by friends of one of the students who died in the Berkeley tragedy has seen over €6,000 raised so far.

Friends of Olivia Burke (21) who lost her life in the Berkeley tragedy are hoping to raise enough funds to return to Ireland to attend their friends funeral.

Clem Keane, who went to Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology along with Ms Burke, said the group "desperately want to fly home to say our last goodbyes to our beautiful friend".

She said they would "really appreciate" donations.

Donations

The account established by the Irish Immigration Pastoral Center 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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