Saturday 26 May 2018

Kathryn Thomas: The J1 is a rite of passage - My brother (22) is in California right now

Kathryn Thomas
Kathryn Thomas
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Kathryn Thomas has paid tribute to the six Irish students who have tragically lost their lives in Berkeley, California.

The TV presenter also revealed that her younger brother is currently in California on his own J1.

Kathryn Thomas at Liz O Donnell's annual fundraising lunch for Adi Roche's Chernobyl Children International at Fire Restaurant ,Dublin
Kathryn Thomas at Liz O Donnell's annual fundraising lunch for Adi Roche's Chernobyl Children International at Fire Restaurant ,Dublin

"Travelling in the USA on a J1 visa is a right of passage for so many Irish students," the Carlow native wrote in her column for The Irish Daily Star.

"I know because I did it myself and right now my 22-year-old brother Stephen is doing exactly that," she said.

Stephen is not in Berkeley, but in another area of the Western state.

"In Berkeley, that dream turned into a nightmare for the families and friends of those tragic young people killed and maimed in the balcony collapse."

Presenter Kathryn Thomas pictured at the Operation Transformation catwalk finale.
Presenter Kathryn Thomas pictured at the Operation Transformation catwalk finale.

"There they were, partying at a 21st birthday bash, how could they ever imaging that their lives were in danger," Kathryn questioned.

"It seems too trivial to call it an awful accident...or a cruel twist of fate."

Ladies day judge Kathryn Thomas pictured with her partner Padraig McLoughlin pictured at Killarney Ladies Day races
Ladies day judge Kathryn Thomas pictured with her partner Padraig McLoughlin pictured at Killarney Ladies Day races

Kathryn, who has a keen passion for travel, said that her own J1 was one of the best experiences of her life.

"You expect to come home with great memories, new ambitions and a bit more knowledge about yourself and the world. You most certainly do not expect to come home in a coffin. May the six victims rest in peace."

Online Editors

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