The U.S. Ambassador to Ireland has released a statement to mark the first anniversary of the Berkeley balcony collapse.
Five South Dublin students and an Irish-American woman died on June 16th 2015 when a fifth-floor apartment balcony collapsed during a birthday party in the California student town.
Those killed were Ashley Donohoe (22), Olivia Burke (21), Eoghan Culligan (21), Niccolai Schuster (21), Lorcan Miller (21), and Eimear Walsh (21).
Some of the students had been going to UCD and DIT.
Another seven students - Aoife Beary, Clodagh Cogley, Sean Fahey, Conor Flynn, Jack Halpin, Niall Murray and Hannah Waters - suffered serious injuries in the collapse.
Full Statement by U.S. Ambassador to Ireland on the Anniversary of the Berkeley Tragedy
"On the first anniversary of the unimaginable tragedy that unfolded in Berkeley, California on June 16 last year and affected all of Irish society, the people of the United States extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families, friends, and loved ones of the students who lost their lives or were injured. In a remembrance ceremony today in Ballsbridge with U.S. Embassy personnel, we planted an apple tree in the Embassy’s front courtyard and unveiled a memorial plaque to serve as a living tribute to those affected by the tragedy. As the tree grows strong, we will take comfort in the knowledge that the memory of Ashley, Eimear, Eoghan, Lorcan, Niccolai, and Olivia, will remain with us always."
"We also hold in our thoughts and prayers the young people who are still recovering from their injuries; that they may continue to heal with the love and support of family and friends here and in the United States. The remarkable resilience they have displayed sends a powerful reminder to the world of the friendship between our people and of our capacity to unite in times of adversity. I hope the outpouring of love and support from the American people in the aftermath of this tragedy has provided some comfort and brought us closer together."
"Friendship has always been at the heart of the J-1 Summer Work and Travel program. As we have seen over the last 50 years with more than 150,000 Irishparticipants, the program has created bonds of friendship between U.S. and Irish youth that last a lifetime, and we remain committed to its continued success.”