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Adams expresses condolences to families of students who died in tragic Berkeley accident

17 June, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has expressed his condolences to the families of the students who died in a tragic accident in Berkeley, California at this difficult time.

Teachta Adams said:

“Ba mhaith liom comhbhrón  ó chroí a dhéanamh le clanna na ndaoine a fuair bás agus atá gortaithe.

“On behalf of Sinn Féin, I want to extend my deepest condolences to the families of the six students who were killed and the seven others who were injured when a balcony collapsed in Berkeley.

“Five of the victims - Niccolai Schuster (21), Eoghan Culligan (21), Eimear Walsh (21), Olivia Burke (21) and Lorcán Miller (21) - had travelled to the United States on J-1 summer visas. The sixth, Irish-American Ashley Donohoe (22), was from Santa Rosain the Bay Area of San Francisco. She and Olivia Burke were cousins.

“These students and their friends were in the apartment celebrating a 21st birthday. It is easy to imagine the energy and excitement at that event before the disaster. The suddenness of the accident and the extent of the tragedy has shocked the people of Ireland and people in the USA.

“It is a dreadful stark reminder of the fragility of life – the uncertainty – especially when these victims are so young and vibrant and full of potential and possibility. There has been an outpouring of grief and sympathy for all of those affected. This tragedy is a parent’s worst nightmare.

“Some of the parents of those students who died and injured have arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday night; more are expected.

“I welcome and commend the efforts and support of Minister Flanagan and the Department of the Foreign Affairs. I want to commend also the work of our Consul General in San Francisco, Philip Grant, who, along with his staff, is providing support for the injured and the bereaved families.

“I also commend the support and assistance of the US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O Malley, and I welcome the Taoiseach’s initiative in asking the Minister of the Diaspora to represent us all.

“I want to acknowledge the work of the Irish community and our diaspora in the Bay area for their support for our young people and their families.

“On behalf of Sinn Féin, I wish to extend our condolences to all the families and friends of those who died and to those who were injured.

“Thar cheann Sinn Féin ar fad ba mhaith liom mo bhrón a léiriú do achan duine atá bainteach leis an tragóid seo.” 

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