Berkeley survivor Aoife Beary working hard to return to college

21-year-old met her favourite band One Direction when they played in Dublin

Aoife Beary, one of seven Irish students injured in the balcony collapse in Berkeley in June, says she is "over the moon" to be back in Dublin and is working hard on her recovery.

The 21-year-old student said since her return from San Francisco she has managed to meet her favourite band One Direction when they played in the capital recently.

She flew home with her parents, brother and sister from San Francisco in early September.

Ms Beary, who suffered a serious head injury in the collapse, had been treated in a hospital in Santa Clara since July.

Following a brief stay in Beaumont Hospital, Ms Beary, from Blackrock in Dublin, is now undergoing daily treatment at the National Rehabilitation Clinic in Dún Laoghaire.

A new post on her fundraising page on Facebook called Friends of Aoife Beary said she was working very hard on speech, occupational therapy and physiotherapy.

“Aoife’s recovery to date has been truly amazing. However, many months are still needed before she will be in a position to start looking at her main goal of returning to college to complete her studies,” it said.

“Aoife is over the moon to be home with her friends and extended family. She enjoys so much hanging out with all her friends, and has even managed one or two excursions; most notably to see her #1 band One Direction when they played recently in Dublin.”

The update thanked people for their support and everyone involved in fundraising initiatives for Ms Beary and other Berkeley balcony collapse victims.

It said a formal trust fund had been set-up for Ms Beary to manage money received for her future needs.

“Aoife, like many others, is coming to terms with the awful consequences of the accident, particularly the loss of so many very good friends. While not physically injured, we are aware that some of the J1 students involved continue to struggle, so we urge you all to please take care of yourselves and each other.”

It has been four months since the incident that killed five Dublin students on J-1 summer visas and an Irish-American woman.

The group were attending Ms Beary’s 21st birthday when the fourth-floor balcony at the Library Gardens apartment block collapsed on June 16th.

Rachel Flaherty

Rachel Flaherty

Rachel Flaherty is an Irish Times journalist

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