Monday 26 September 2016

Three remaining Berkeley survivors expected home before end of September

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 31/08/2015 | 18:24

Aoife Beary
Aoife Beary
Niall Murray
Hannah Waters

The three remaining survivors of the Berkeley balcony tragedy are expected to be back on Irish soil by the end of September.

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Aoife Beary (21), Niall Murray (21) and Hannah Waters (21) were among the injured when a fourth-floor apartment balcony collapsed during a 21st birthday party on June 16.

Six other students, Eimear Walsh, Ashley Donohue, Olivia Burke, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcan Miller and Eoghan Culligan all died when the balcony they were standing on gave way beneath them.

The head of the Irish Immigration Pastoral Centre in San Francisco, Fr Brendan McBride (72), confirmed that they have to date raised over $500,000 for the Irish J1 Berkeley Tragedy Fund.

The Donegal man said that despite Aoife suffering an extensive brain injury she now is 'doing well'.

"Niall fell on his hands and has to undergo more surgery,” he told the Irish Sun, adding that it could be 'another month or so' before Hannah gets home.

The priest said that it was by far the worst tragedy he had encountered during his years in San Francisco.

In July he traveled to Ireland, and attended a dinner with the families of three of the J1 students who tragically died.

Last week Clodagh Cogley (21), the granddaughter of legendary RTÉ rugby commentator Fred Cogley,  returned home to Ireland after fulfilling her aim of getting a picture on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Clodagh, a past pupil of Alexandra College, suffered two collapsed lungs, a broken shoulder and knee, five broken ribs and a broken spinal cord in the incident.

Her family said that they have adapted their home to meet Clodagh's long-term needs and she is now settling into the next phase of her rehabilitation in a Dublin hospital.

Meanwhile, following the success of the Aoife Beary tag rugby 'fun-raiser', the team are planning another event to raise money to meet medical and rehabilitation costs.

The 72 Hour Cycle for Berkeley will take place on September 3 at Dundrum Town Centre, and will feature 13 bikes being cycled continuously over 72 hours in an attempt to cover the distance of Dublin to Berkeley and back.

The challenge will begin at midday and there are 468 slots each of 2 hours duration to be filled.

If you are interested please email cycleforberkeley@gmail.com

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