Berkeley survivor Aoife Beary ‘recovering well’

Friends speak of fundraising efforts in support of student on Nicky Byrne’s radio show

A student who survived the Berkeley balcony collapse in California last summer is said to be recovering very well from injuries which had left her fighting for her life.

Aoife Beary was on the fourth-floor balcony when it gave way at the US apartment building on June 16th killing six people. She was one of seven students injured in the incident.

However, she is now set to return to her studies after making a remarkable recovery.

"Aoife's doing brilliantly. She's recovered very well, very quickly. Everyone's very surprised," her friend Eoin Thompson, who was also at the apartment the night of the collapse, said in a radio interview on 2FM's Nicky Byrne Show.

“And now Aoife wants to go back to college and finish her degree in science so that’s what we are fundraising for, to help her do that.”

Already sold out, friends of Ms Beary are organising a “Strictly Come Dancing” event at UCD later this month.

It is to be presented by Adrian Kennedy and judged by Miriam O'Callaghan, Jeff Minogue, Eoghan McDermott and David McCullagh.

“I was really lucky. Shocking night. Not great. It’s great to see Aoife doing so well,” Mr Thompson said.

“When you see her you wouldn’t think this time six months ago Aoife was fighting for her life.”

Another of Ms Beary's friends Niamh Durcan spoke of the gathering of support friends of those caught up in the tragedy in its immediate aftermath.

“I was in Dublin the day that it happened. I remember it very well. I came home from work that day and we met up as a year group . . . at the school and there was a mass put on for the girls,” she said.

“So immediately we felt the support coming from the school and from our family and friends. We didn’t know what to say to each other but just being with each other was enough at that time.”

Dublin students Eoghan Culligan, Lorcán Miller, Niccolai Schuster, Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke and Olivia's Irish-American cousin Ashley Donohoe were all killed in the incident.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times