Wednesday 25 April 2018

Final survivor of Berkeley tragedy home

Hannah Waters has returned home three months after the tragedy
Hannah Waters has returned home three months after the tragedy

Denise Callanan and Adam Cullen

The final survivor of the Berkeley balcony tragedy, Hannah Waters, has arrived home.

The 21-year-old from Castleknock, Dublin, has returned to Ireland three months after the tragedy. The DCU student survived the incident which killed six of her friends in Berkeley, California, in June of this year.

She was one of seven seriously injured in the balcony collapse. The six other injured students arrived home to Ireland in recent weeks.

The Irish Consulate in San Francisco marked the event by posting an image of Seamus Heaney's 'Postscript' poem on Twitter.

The image was accompanied by a picture of an Aer Lingus flight leaving San Francisco.

They wrote: "A postscript for Berkeley as the last of our students heads home.

"Our hearts caught off guard and blown open. Godspeed."

Another survivor of the tragedy, Niall Murray (21), from Rathfarnham, arrived home in Dublin last Wednesday.

The NUIG student had spent months in rehabilitation at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San José, California.

Five Irish students, Lorcán Miller, Eimear Walsh, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster and Olivia Burke, and Irish American student Ashley Donohoe died in the incident on June 16.

The Irish group were visiting the States on J1 visas when the disaster occurred. They had been celebrating the 21st birthday of Aoife Beary, one of the seven injured.

Marking three months since the collapse earlier this month, another of the survivors, Clodagh Cogley, recalled the heartbreaking events.

"I don't have the words to describe the sadness of their passing, so all I will say is that I am thinking of their families and friends."

Irish Independent

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