Longest journey home for tragedy victims
A special flight has been booked for Sunday to bring home the remains of five J1 students who died in the Berkeley balcony tragedy.
The parents of Olivia Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcán Miller and Eimear Walsh were expected to finally see their remains late last night.
The families are said to be exhausted but comforted by the immense solidarity shown to them by the local community in Berkeley, as well as the Irish Diaspora and the several hundred JI students who have held two separate memorials.
A joint funeral for two cousins, Ashley Donohue and Olivia Burke, who were among those killed, is due to take place on Saturday in St Joseph’s Church in Rohnert Park, about 90 minutes from Berkeley.
Afterwards, Dublin-born Olivia Burke will be brought home to be laid to rest.
Aer Lingus has organised a flight to take home the deceased on Sunday, but some relatives are keen to fly on Saturday if at all possible.
Two of the seven injured students, Aoife Beary and Hannah Waters, were still fighting for their lives in hospital last night.
The Mayor of Berkeley Tom Bates has criticised the red tape that has delayed the repatriation process.