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Berkeley balcony collapse survivor Aoife Beary dies aged 27

Aoife Beary (27), from Blackrock in Dublin, was left with life-changing injuries after the balcony that she and twelve others were on collapsed on June 16th, 2015.
Aoife Beary at the hearing in California on a new bill to make construction safer Picture: AP

Aoife Beary at the hearing in California on a new bill to make construction safer Picture: AP

Neasa Cumiskey

A Dublin woman who survived the Berkeley balcony collapse tragedy in 2015 has died.

Aoife Beary (27), from Blackrock in Dublin, was left with life-changing injuries after the balcony that she and twelve others were on collapsed on June 16th, 2015.

She suffered a brain injury, broken bones, and organ lacerations as result, undergoing treatment and rehabilitation at hospitals in California and Dublin in the months after the accident.

Ms Beary passed away aged 27 in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin on New Year’s Day after suffering a stroke on Wednesday, according to The Irish Times.

She is survived by her parents Mike and Angela, her younger brother Tim, and her younger sister Anna.

The 2015 Berkeley balcony collapse claimed the lives of five students, many of whom had travelled to California on J-1 working visas: Lorcán Miller, Eimear Walsh, Niccolai Schuster, Eoghan Culligan, and cousins Olivia Burke and Ashley Donohoe.

They had been celebrating Ms Beary’s birthday at a party in the Library Gardens apartment block when the tragedy occurred.

In 2016, Ms Beary testified before the California state legislature in an effort to change legislature and force contractors to be transparent about previous legal claims against them.

Recounting her injuries in her emotional testimonies, she said: “A traumatic brain injury, open heart surgery, broken hands, pelvis and jaw along with losing all my teeth. I had lacerations in my liver, kidney and spleen.

“I had a collapsed lung and broken ribs. None of this needed to happen. Some of my injuries will be with me for the rest of my life.

“I miss my friends I’ve known since we started school together at four years of age. We grew up together and now my birthday will always be their anniversary.”


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