FLAGS are being flown at half mast in the University of Limerick campus today to pay tribute to the six Irish students who died tragically in California when a balcony collapsed.
While none of the students attended UL or are known to have any links to Limerick, a spokesperson for UL said: “All of the students involved in the tragic accident in Berkeley, California and their family and friends, are in the hearts and minds of the University of Limerick community at this time of loss.”
Colin Clarke, the UL students’ union president, added: “On behalf of all UL students I would like to offer our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the students who so tragically lost their lives in Berkeley. Our thoughts and prayers are with all students who have been affected by this tragedy.”
Mr Clarke added that counselling services are available on campus if any student has been affected by this tragedy.
As the nine-day annual novena continues at the Redemptorists at Mount St Alphonsus on the South Circular Road, rector Fr Seamus Enright said their thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who died in this tragic accident.
Many people have been expressing their sympathies on the Redemptorists’ Facebook page since the horrific events at a 21st birthday party birthday came to light yesterday morning.
Three of the six deceased were attending University College Dublin, including two medicine students and one arts student.
The deceased are: Eimear Walsh (21), Niccolai Schuster (21), Lorcán Miller (21), Olivia Burke (21), Eoghan Culligan (21) and Ashley Donohoe (22). The latter was from Santa Rosa in the Bay Area, and was related to Olivia Burke. The other five victims were on a J1 visa for the summer.
The names of the remaining seven injured parties, two of whom are described as being in a critical condition, have not been released.
The students, most of whom were from south Dublin and enrolled at UCD, fell from the fourth floor of a modern apartment building when a balcony collapsed at 12.40am on Tuesday.
UCD has set up an online book of condolence.