Funds set up to assist Irish families following Berkeley balcony tragedy
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Funds set up to assist Irish families following Berkeley balcony tragedy

THE American Ireland Fund has donated $100,000 to help those affected by the Berkeley tragedy.

Elsewhere a site specially set up to give assistance to those connected to the disaster - the Irish J1 Berkeley Tragedy Fund on gofundme.com - has collected a further $50,000.

The Irish American Fund, which helps people in need by supporting worthy and innovative projects both in Ireland and the US, said the incident had a profound effect on the Irish at home and abroad.

A statement from the body said: “The task of meeting the needs of the families and friends of the bereaved and injured is urgent. In this regard, The American Ireland Fund announced this morning that it will make a donation of $100,000 to support those who are providing care and assistance on the ground, in particular the San Francisco Irish Pastoral Centre.”

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Fr Brendan McBride, who runs San Francisco’s Irish Immigration Pastoral Centre, has been helping Irish students who were at the party in Berkeley where the tragedy took place.

The Co. Donegal man and his staff were among the first to respond to the tragedy at the Library Gardens. The centre and the Irish Consulate in San Francisco have joined forces to provide a crisis centre helping victims and their families.

The families who have now arrived in California from Ireland will be supported by the account established by the centre.