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Dublin: 12°C Thursday 28 October 2021
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'We will all share the loss': Tributes paid to Irish students tragically killed in balcony collapse

A book of condolences is to open in Dublin tomorrow.

PastedImage-92419 Eoghan Culligan, Eimear Walsh, Nick Schuster (top row), Olivia Burke, Lorcán Miller and Ashley Donohoe Source: Facebook

TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN pouring in for the Irish students killed after a balcony collapsed at a 21st birthday party in Berkeley, California.

Niccolai Schuster (21), Eoghan Culligan (21), Eimear Walsh (21), Olivia Burke (21), Ashley Donohoe (22) and Lorcan Miller (21) were celebrating a 21st birthday party when the fourth-floor balcony collapsed.

A further seven people were injured, some are believed to be critical.

The first family members of the bereaved arrived in Berkeley last night. Others are travelling this morning.

All the students were confirmed as J1 students visiting California for the summer on working visas. Many of the students were students from University College Dublin (UCD)

Four of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene. A fifth was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at hospital. The sixth death was confirmed at about 5pm yesterday.

Friends, former schools and clubs of the young victims have been paying tribute to those who tragically lost their lives yesterday.

Ballyboden St Enda’s confirmed that Eoghan Culligan was a member of the GAA club since childhood.

He was part of the Minor A football team who were beaten by Castleknock in the Dublin county championship final in 2011.

In a statement, the club said: “He continued to play football with both the Intermediate and Junior teams. Eoghan was very popular with his team mates and this tragic news is keenly felt by all members of our Club, but especially by those players and mentors who knew him well.

We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to his parents Gerry and Marie and to his brothers Stephen and Andrew and to all the extended Culligan family.

“May we take this opportunity of extending our sympathies to all the families of Eoghan’s friends who also lost their lives in this terrible tragedy and to wish those who are injured eventual recovery to full health.”

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Foxrock Parish opened the doors of its church last night to allow family and friends to gather for a vigil for the six young men and women.

Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah was played and the church bells rang at 9.30pm and midnight to honour cousins Olivia Burke and Ashley Donohoe and Eimear Walsh.

People lit candles, prayed and expressed their shock.

Fr Frank Herron, who said he knows one of the families well, offered his sympathies to all the families involved and remembered those who are still injured in California.

In the early hours of the morning, the parish posted on Facebook:

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A number of the students studied in UCD and its president Andrew Deeks expressed his heartbreak at the loss.

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The national flag will fly at half-mast at all government buildings today.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke, will open a Book of Condolence for the victims of the balcony collapse tomorrow morning.

The public will be able to sign it at the Mansion House on Dawson Street in the capital on Thursday from 10am – 4pm and Friday from 10am – 4pm.

UCD is opening a book of condolences online at UCD.ie where students and the public can share their sympathies.

Additional reporting from Sinéad O’Carroll

Updates: The Irish students killed after a balcony collapsed in California have been named>

Read: Irish students killed in balcony collapse named by US authorities>

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