Berkeley tragedy: Funerals of four of the students who died in California to begin on Tuesday

Hundreds attended the joint funeral for Ashley Donohoe and her cousin Olivia Burke, in northern California

The funerals of four of the students who died in Berkeley, California are to begin in Dublin on Tuesday.

The remains of Eoghan Culligan, Lorcán Miller, Niccolai Schuster and Eimear Walsh were returned home to Ireland today.

The funeral for Ashley Donohoe, who lived in the US, and her cousin Olivia Burke, was held last night in northern California. The body of Ms Burke will be flown home tomorrow.

Six students were killed when the fourth-floor balcony they were standing on collapsed at a 21st birthday party at the Library Gardens student accommodation block at 2020 Kittredge Street in Berkeley on June 16th.


Seven other students remain in hospital in California after being seriously injured in the incident.

Aer Lingus flight EI 146 from San Francisco touched down at Dublin Airport shortly after 11am.

The families, who had travelled on the same flight, were met at the airport by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan with officials from his department and consular staff.

The family of Mr Schuster, some of whom were unable to travel to California, spent time with the remains of the 21-year-old in a room set aside for them in the airport’s VIP section. Extended family members were also present.

The families were brought to a private prayer service before the hearses containing the coffins of Ms Walsh, Mr Culligan and Mr Miller left Dublin airport before midday.

Seven gardaí on motorbikes rode ahead, and the cortege, including garda traffic corp vehicles, travelled on to the M50.

Shortly before 1pm, a hearse containing Mr Schuster’s remains left from an area close to the airport’s original terminal. Gardaí and airport police stopped traffic coming from Terminal 1 to allow the cortege to take the exit road beneath the sky-bridge.

Mr Schuster, who is survived by his parents, brother, and extended family, will repose at his home in Terenure on Monday evening. His funeral mass will take place at the Church of the Three Patrons, Rathgar on Wednesday at 11am followed by cremation at Mount Jerome, Harold’s Cross.

Mr Culligan is survived by his parents, two brothers, extended family and his girlfriend.

His funeral mass will be held at the Church of the Annunciation, Rathfarnham, at 11am on Tuesday and he is to be buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Harold’s Cross.

Ms Walsh’s funeral mass will take place at 11am on Tuesday, at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Foxrock followed by burial at Shanganagh Cemetery. She is survived by her parents, brother and extended family and will repose at Fanagan’s Funeral Home in Dundrum on Monday.

Hundreds of mourners attended the service for Ms Burke and Ms Donohoe in the St Joseph Catholic Church in Cotati, about 75km north of San Francisco.

Ms Burke is survived by her parents, brother and extended family.

She will repose in Fanagan’s Funeral Home in Aungier St on Tuesday.

Ms Burke’s funeral mass will take place at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock at 11am on Wednesday followed by burial at Deansgrange Cemetery.

Separate investigations are underway into Tuesday’s fatal accident at Library Gardens, with attention focusing on the theory that dry rot undermined the balcony.

Fiona Gartland

Fiona Gartland

Fiona Gartland is a crime writer and former Irish Times journalist

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times