Monday 26 September 2016

'It hit us like a tsunami' - Foxrock parish hold memorial for Irish students killed in Berkeley tragedy

Dublin GAA star Jack McCaffrey - who attended UCD- also paid his respects

Robin Schiller

Published 17/06/2015 | 19:07

People sign the Book of Condolences which was opened for the victims of the California balcony collapse at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Foxrock this afternoon...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
People sign the Book of Condolences which was opened for the victims of the California balcony collapse at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Foxrock this afternoon...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Dozens of friends, colleagues and fellow students of two women who tragically lost their lives after a balcony collapse in the US visited the Foxrock parish church this afternoon to sign a book of condolences that had been laid out.

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Eimear Walsh and Olivia Burke (both 21) passed away after a balcony they were on collapsed during a 21st birthday party in the Berkeley area of California, while another woman from the parish, Aoife Beary (21) is still currently in hospital.

Read more: Parents of students injured in Berkeley balcony tragedy hold vigil by bedsides

Local Parish curate Father Frank Herron described the devastating impact the tragedy has had on the local community.

The Book of Condolences which was opened for the victims of the California balcony collapse at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Foxrock this afternoon...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The Book of Condolences which was opened for the victims of the California balcony collapse at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Foxrock this afternoon...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
A man signs the Book of Condolences which was opened for the victims of the California balcony collapse at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Foxrock this afternoon...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

"It hit us like a tsunami. The instant loss of such innocent lives, it's incomprehensible. The community has really come together to support one another during this time," Father Herron said.

"Last night there was a spontaneous gathering of people, and the church was still full at 1am this morning. It was great to see the sense of community in such dark times," he added.

Read more: Picture shows remaining wooden 'stumps' of balcony following Berkeley tragedy

Young men and women comforted one another as they remembered the deceased, while candles were lit for those still battling for their lives in hospital.

The Tricolour flies at half mast as a Book of Condolences was opened for the victims of the California balcony collapse at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Foxrock this afternoon...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The Tricolour flies at half mast as a Book of Condolences was opened for the victims of the California balcony collapse at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Foxrock this afternoon...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The Tricolour flies at half mast as a Book of Condolences was opened for the victims of the California balcony collapse at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Foxrock this afternoon...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Among those paying their respects was Dublin GAA star Jack McCaffrey, who was in the same college course as Ms Walsh in UCD.

A woman and her children pray for the victims after signing the Book of Condolences which was opened for the victims of the California balcony collapse at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Foxrock this afternoon...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
A woman and her children pray for the victims after signing the Book of Condolences which was opened for the victims of the California balcony collapse at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Foxrock this afternoon...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
A woman and her child pray for the victims after signing the Book of Condolences which was opened for the victims of the California balcony collapse at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Foxrock this afternoon...Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

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