Practical support in our hour of darkness
Published 19/06/2015 | 02:30
Events in San Francisco unleashed a tide of grief which swept the whole country; and then came the wave of compassion and support. Nothing can fill the void left in the hearts of the bereaved families, but eventually the show of solidarity will be of some comfort.
Another more material manifestation of the goodwill and empathy came yesterday with the establishment of a fund. Within hours, hundreds of people donated $38,000 to help with medical costs and other practical necessities.
An official account was established by the Irish Immigration Pastoral Centre in San Francisco.
The American Ireland Fund will make a donation of $100,000.
In a letter yesterday, the US ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O'Malley, addressed J1 students directly: "The US Embassy would encourage you to remain strong, and draw upon the deep well of strength that the Irish are known for around the world.
"There will be times in your life where you're challenged, when tragedy strikes and you're left to pick up the pieces. In these moments, it becomes even more important to join together with friends and find strength in supporting one another," he concluded.
It seems that even in the depths of tragedy, a deep vein of all that is decent can also come to the surface.