Parishes prepare to bury tragic young students
Funerals for the five Irish students are expected to take place in the middle of next week after they have been repatriated.
Massive crowds are expected to attend each of the five ceremonies due to be held in churches across south Dublin.
A joint funeral ceremony will take place in St Joseph's Catholic Church in California this morning for Irish-American Ashley Donohoe (22) and her cousin Olivia Burke (21) from Foxrock.
The service will take place in the church where Ashley was baptised.
Another ceremony is also expected to be held in Dublin for Olivia when her remains are returned home.
A flight has been arranged to take all the students home today, along with their grieving families.
The Catholic Communications Office last night said arrangements would be put in place over the coming days.
Parish priests have been in touch with some of the affected families and will be making arrangements.
They said all arrangements will be made to cater for the massive crowds expected to pay tribute to the students.
Parish Priest at the Parish of the Annunciation in Rathfarnham Fr Martin Noone said the church has outside speakers which he said he expects will be utilised in the ceremony for Eoghan Culligan (21), from Rathfarnham.
"We have nothing confirmed at the moment. I presume it will be mid next week but we haven't begun making any preparations yet," Fr Noone told the Irish Independent.
"I'm awaiting word. The next step is repatriation and then arrangements will be made with parishes.
"We'll be expecting a very big crowd. We're in the fortunate position in that we have outside speakers already in place and we can us them.
"We'll be able to do whatever we need to cater for the big crowd," he added.
A representative from the Rathmichael Church of Ireland parish said a service for students in the Rathmichael primary school, where Lorcán Miller's brother and sister attend, was held yesterday morning.
Another special reflection service is planned for the Rathmichael church tomorrow and the funeral is likely to be held some time in the middle of next week.
His grandparents attended the ceremony in UCD yesterday. Afterwards they said: "Tomorrow will actually be the difficult day because it's not until tomorrow the bodies are being released and they'll see their loved ones; and, whoever is listening to this, just keep the love going, because that's what's keeping us going."
Arrangements for the funeral of Niccolai Schuster (21), from Terenure, are still being finalised while funerals for Eimear Walsh and Olivia are expected to take place in Foxrock.
It is understood funeral directors have also been in contact with some of the families and are beginning to put in place arrangements at the request of the families.
The Catholic Communications Office said it would be assisting the various churches with all arrangements, including providing additional seating and speakers to cater for the large crowds of mourners.