Tuesday 24 April 2018

Berkeley tragedy: Plans 'well underway' to move Clodagh Cogley home

Clodagh Cogley in a photograph taken in hospital in the US, where she is working to recover from serious injuries sustained in the Berkeley tragedy.
Clodagh Cogley in a photograph taken in hospital in the US, where she is working to recover from serious injuries sustained in the Berkeley tragedy.
Clodagh Cogley at Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Owner of Quality Dry Cleaners Joe Sweeney with Berkeley Fund coordinator Shona Dunleavy

Cormac Fitzgerald

A fund set up to help the recovery of Clodagh Cogley, who was seriously injured in the Berkeley balcony collapse, said that plans were ‘well underway’ to prepare to move her home.

Clodagh arrived back in Ireland at the start of August, and has since been settling into the next stage of her rehabilitation in Dublin.

The Clodagh Cogley Fund said that they were preparing for her to be moved back into her home.

“Plans are well underway now for adapting the house to welcome Clodagh home in the near future and for anticipating some of her longer term needs,” they said.

Three of the seven students injured in the disaster in California are receiving treatment for serious injuries in a rehabilitation centre in the US - Aoife Beary, Niall Murray and Hannah Waters.

Clodagh has now joined Sean Fahey, Conor Flynn and Jack Halpin, who have all recovered sufficiently to come home to Ireland.

Clodagh Cogley at Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Clodagh Cogley at Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

The fund said that the kindness and generosity strangers had shown was humbling.

“A huge thanks to everyone who offered us support and who sent so many kind messages in recent weeks and thanks also to the very many who contributed so generously and imaginatively to the fundraising,” they said in a Facebook post.

“We are truly very humbled by your kindness.

“So many people have offered us support and encouragement in so many ways that we will never be able to thank everyone individually but in the last two months we have certainly seen the very best of the human spirit on both sides of the ocean.

“We are indeed blessed to have such a wonderful community of friends, neighbours, colleagues, classmates and public and private representatives, who have all come forward to offer support and guidance, alongside so many other individuals and groups that we have never even met,” they said.

The fund, which is run by those close to Clodagh, also said that they hoped the other injured survivors would get home soon, and expressed their sympathies for the friends of those who died.

“We are very glad to be home now and hopeful that Hannah, Niall and Aoife will continue with their recoveries and will soon be able to get home too.

“Our dear departed friends who were not so fortunate to survive the fall on June 16th are constantly on our minds as are the bereaved families and friends of Niccolai, Eoghan, Ashley, Lorcán, Olivia and Eimear who remain with their unfathomable grief and with their treasured memories,” they said.

The news comes as it was revealed that Quality Dry Cleaners will donate half their takings on clothes brought to their three Dublin shops for cleaning all day tomorrow.

A fundraising barbecue is also planned.

The company is calling on people to drop their items off at their stores in Leopardstown Shopping Centre, Ballinteer Shopping Centre and on Orwell Road in Rathgar.

"I am very close to one of the student's families who was involved in the balcony tragedy in Berkeley," said Joe Sweeney, owner of the business.

"All of my colleagues at Quality Dry Cleaners know someone who was affected in the tragedy. Being a father, I can only imagine the impact this is having on the families of those affected.

"I wanted to do something to raise much-needed funds for them," he said.

A fundraising barbecue will also take place at the Leopardstown Shopping Centre on Saturday with the support of local businesses.

Berkeley Fundraiser volunteers raised €30,000 last month with a fundraising concert night in The Academy venue in Dublin, which saw performances from Kodaline, Gavin James and Mundy among others.

People can get involved in a number of ways, by dropping off their dry-cleaning at any of the three participating stores; making a cash donation in-store on the day, or by donating to the fund at gofund.me/berkeleyfund.

Five Irish students and one Irish-American were killed in June when the balcony they were standing on collapsed at a 21st birthday party at the Berkeley apartment building.

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