Books of condolences opened nationwide for Berkeley dead

UCD mourns students Eimear Walsh, Lorcán Miller and Niccolai Schuster

Flowers at St Marys College in Rathmines, Dublin, where late UCD student Niccolai Schuster had previously  studied.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Flowers at St Marys College in Rathmines, Dublin, where late UCD student Niccolai Schuster had previously studied. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

A minute’s silence will be observed during conferring ceremonies at University College Dublin (UCD) in memory of three of its students who died in the Berkeley balcony collapse.

Eimear Walsh (3rd Med), Lorcán Miller (3rd Med) and Niccolai Schuster (2nd BA History and Politics) were all studying at UCD.

A number of students who were injured, along with friends who were in the apartment at the time, have also attended the university.

UCD has opened an online book of condolenceon its website where students, staff and others are invited to share their sympathies.

There will be a memorial service on Friday at 1pm in Belfield Church.

UCD’s manager in San Francisco, Karina O’Neill, has been supporting the students in Berkeley, and senior chaplain Fr John Nerney is on his way to join her on the ground.

The university has a response plan to deal with student deaths which has been activated by Prof Bairbre Redmond, dean of undergraduate studies at UCD.

In a statement to its students and staff, UCD president Professor Andrew J Deeks expressed his condolences to the families and friends of those who died.

“We cannot comprehend the desperate shock and grief they are feeling and we are heartbroken at their suffering and loss,” he wrote.

Volunteered every day

Lorcán Miller, a player with UCD men’s hockey club, was an integral part of Hockey Ireland’s volunteer team at World League 2 (international hockey tournament) in Dublin in March. He volunteered every day as a public announcer.

Hockey Ireland expressed condolences to all the families of those involved in the tragedy.

A book of condolences for victims of the Berkeley balcony collapse will open at the Mansion House in Dublin on Thursday from 10am.

Lord Mayor Christy Burke said the people of Dublin should be given the opportunity to express their sympathies to the families and friends of those who died in the tragedy.

“I offer my personal sympathy to all who have suffered the loss of loved ones and, at this time, my thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been affected by this tragic event,” he said.

Books of condolences have also been opened in Cork City Hall and University College Cork, at County Hall in Tallaght and at Galway City Hall on behalf of Galway County Council.

Cork City Hall

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Chris O’Leary opened the book of condolences for the six Irish students at Cork City Hall this morning and said it was important to acknowledge the tragedy.

“It was with great sadness and shock that we learned of the awful loss of young lives in Berkeley,” said Cllr O’Leary.

“On behalf of the people of Cork I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those who lost their lives or were injured in Berkeley, California.

“Being a sister city of San Francisco for almost 30 years, we are deeply upset by this tragedy and are thinking of all the Irish community residing in California at this time.”

Cllr O’Leary is due to leave for San Francisco on Friday as part of a Cork City Council delegation to the city and he said he hopes to visit Berkeley to pay his respects.

Meanwhile, a book of condolences was also opened in the Honan Chapel in UCC to allow students at the university and the wider community to express their sympathy while the UCC flag was also flown at half-mast.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has also opened an online book of condolence.