SPECIAL services are taking place on both sides of the Atlantic as friends and families of the victims of the Berkeley balcony tragedy come to terms with the devastating loss of life.
Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke, Ashley Donohoe, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcán Miller and Eoghan Culligan – all aged 21-22 – died on Tuesday.
This afternoon hundreds attended a memorial service held in the campus chapel at University College Dublin, which was attended by Irish President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina.
Eithne Nic an Ríogh, a friend of Eimear and Lorcán, played the cello during the service, which saw the church packed far past its capacity.
Niccolai’s father, brother and grandfather also attended the service in memory of the 21-year-old sport fanatic and his friends.
— Philip Bromwell (@philipbromwell) June 19, 2015
Hundreds more mourners attended a service held at the Dublin Institute of Technology yesterday, where Eoghan Culligan had been a third year student at the college’s Aungier Street campus.
Meanwhile, the UCD alumni group in London have also expressed their condolences and will mark the tragedy in their own way in Britain.
Speaking to The Irish Post, alumni chairman, David O’Reilly said: “Our hearts are broken this week by the events that took place in the US. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families and friends."
He added: "I am going to attend 12.30pm Sunday Mass this weekend at the Farm Street Catholic Church in Mayfair and will tweet and email my contact book to this effect in case anyone in the UK alumni chapter wishes to join me there in a quiet moment of reflection and say a prayer for all of those who we have lost - not just our three classmates from UCD, Eimear, Lorcán and Niccolai, but the group as a whole, to include Olivia, Eoghan and Ashley.
We are all devastated by this tragedy.”
— Simon Carswell (@SiCarswell) June 18, 2015
In Berkeley, where the tragic incident took place, there has been an outpouring of grief.
The families of the victims who have travelled to Berkeley have visited the site of the accident, where dozens of flowers, cards and candles have been left, while a memorial service earlier in the week saw massive crowds gather to pay their respects.
Along with the tragic loss of life, seven other Irish students remain in hospital recovering from injuries.
The families of many of the victims have flown to Berkeley as they make preparations to bring their loved ones home.