Berkeley balcony collapse: Profiles and tributes to victims
Six students, five of them from Dublin, were all in their early 20s
Eimear Walsh (21)
Eimear Walsh, a medicine student at UCD, has a brother named Robert. She had listed her spoken languages on Facebook as English, Irish and Spanish. In the past month, she posted photographs on Instagram of letters from friends wishing her well ahead of her trip to San Francisco.
In a statement, the school said it was “deeply saddened and shocked” by the Berkeley tragedy. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the families of Olivia and Eimear, and to the families of the other students who died,” a spokeswoman said. “Please keep in your thoughts and prayers all those who have been injured and affected by this terrible tragedy.”
Bernadette Prendiville, principal at Loreto, described the girls as beautiful, quiet and in the prime of life. “We are very shocked, that’s the bottom line,” she said. “They were two absolutely gorgeous students, that’s where we are all at. Everybody is just trying to really deal with that and no more.
“They were just two beautiful students. I was not here in the school at the time but I’ve been told they were two of our excellent students, two quiet girls who had all their lives ahead of them, that’s the tragedy.”
Ms Prendiville said the staff and students who knew the girls were extremely upset. “They were in the prime of their lives. They had a successful time in school, went about their work quietly and had everything going for them, everything ahead of them,” she said.
Olivia Burke (21)
Olivia Burke, from Foxrock, Dublin, was a student of Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT).
She attended Loreto Foxrock until 2012.
Olivia was remembered as a very well-liked student in a close-knit group at IADT.
The 21-year-old from Foxrock was expected back at the south Dublin college in September to start her final year of a degree in entrepreneurship and management.
Dr Annie Doona, IADT president, said there are counsellors on hand for friends and family turning up at the college today to remember her.
“It’s a very sad day here for her fellow students and for the staff,” she said. “Olivia was very well respected, very well liked and had been doing really well on the course.”
Olivia was one of up to 30 students from IADT who go to the US every year on a J1 summer working holiday visa.
“She was working in a restaurant in Ireland before she went out and our understanding is that she had a job in a sushi restaurant in California, ” said Dr Doona.
She had been sharing a flat in the US with a number of the others who had been killed and injured. Olivia had completed a five month placement at East Coast Radio in Ireland recently, where colleagues praised as a “bright, bubbly, young kid”.
“The first thing you think about when you hear about this is how terrible for the friends and family and then, as president, the second thing I thought is I wonder if any of our students are involved, and sadly we discovered that Olivia was one of the victims,” said Dr Doona.
“It’s very dim and very quiet here on the campus this morning. “We’ve put in supports for students, so we have counsellors on site, we have our nurse on site.
“Although the students have finished, we think that some of them will come here, they’ll want to meet, they’ll want to hug, they’ll want to talk about Olivia, and they’ll want to spend a bit of time just thinking about her and grieving.” Dr Doona added: “She was doing very well, and enjoying herself and making great friends. It’s terribly sad.”
Niccolai Schuster (21)
Niccolai Schuster from Terenure, Dublin, is survived by his parents Graziella and John Schuster.
He has a brother named Alexei who is in fifth year at St Mary’s College, Rathmines, where Niccolai was also a student until 2012.
It’s also understood he played rugby for St Mary’s. Later he went on to study at UCD.
He is listed as having travelled to Ghana in 2010 as part of a group of student volunteers for St Mary’s College’s “Ghana immersion project”, which is a programme that sees students engage in the culture and day-to-day life of their peers in the developing world.
He took part in the UCD Medsoc’s charity Strictly Come Dancing event in 2014, where money was raised for the National Maternity Hospital Foundation.
According to his Facebook page, he spent some time living in Sydney, Australia.
St Andrew’s College headmaster Peter Fraser recalled him as an exceptional person. “The one thing speaking to colleagues this morning was the fact that he was positive, engaging, decent boy who was incredibly talented, but normal, modest and balanced about it all. He was hugely popular,” Mr Fraser said.
Lorcan was deputy head boy in his final school year before leaving for college in 2012.
“He would have been very well known by almost everyone in the college, and in such a big school that’s quite an achievement. He had a rounded talent. He was very keen on issues of social awareness and social conscience,” Mr Fraser said.
“There’s no question, he would have been one of your school’s role models.”
Lorcan played on the school hockey team, had roles in the choir and musicals and also took key positions in the school’s Model United Nations with Mr Fraser adding that teachers were particularly fond of him.
A large number of those at the birthday party in the Berkeley apartment complex knew each other from UCD and also from connections with schools in south Dublin.
Eoghan Culligan (21)
Eoghan Culligan, from Rathfarnham, attended St Mary’s College, Rathmines, until 2012. He is survived by his parents Gerry and Marie Culligan and brothers Andy and Stephen.
Eoghan was studying at Dublin Institute of Technology, where he had finished his third year in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
The college president Professor Brian Norton said: “The sadness felt at this tragedy reaches far beyond those who knew the students personally.
“We know that this is a very difficult time for many students, both at home and those who are travelling for the summer holidays.”
Eoghan was a well regarded Gaelic football player and turned out for Ballyboden St Enda’s in a county final in 2011.
“It is with great regret and sadness that we inform you that Ballyboden St Enda’s member Eoghan Culligan was one of the six people who tragically lost their lives in Berkeley, California ...” the club stated.
“Eoghan was very popular with his team-mates and this tragic news is keenly felt by all members of our club, but especially by those players and mentors who knew him well,” the club said.
“We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to his parents Gerry and Marie and to his brothers Stephen and Andrew and to all the extended Culligan family.
“May we take this opportunity of extending our sympathies to all the families of Eoghan’s friends who also lost their lives in this terrible tragedy and to wish those who are injured eventual recovery to full health.”
Chaplaincy, counselling and health services were made available to students at DIT’s Aungier Street campus.
Ashley Donohoe (22)
Ashley Donohoe was an Irish-American citizen from Santa Rosa in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a cousin of Olivia Burke, who was also killed in the incident.