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'Everyone Welcome' Vigil for Berkeley balcony collapse survivor Aoife Beary to take place tonight

Ms Beary passed away aged 27 in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin on New Year’s Day after suffering a stroke on Wednesday


Aoife Beary

Aoife Beary

Aoife Beary

A vigil for Berkeley balcony collapse survivor Aoife Beary will be held this evening.

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

She died “after a brave battle with her injuries sustained in the Berkeley balcony collapse in California” in 2015, he family have confirmed.

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

An open church vigil for the late Ms Beary will take place this evening, Thursday 6th January, in Foxrock Church, Dublin from 8pm to 1am.

“We stand together in solidarity with her family in this terribly sad moment. We ask that each of us take a moment over the coming days to pray for Aoife, her family and their incredible bravery over the past six years,” Foxrock Church said of the vigil.

“On Thursday night [from] 8pm – 1am Foxrock Church will be open for a vigil for Aoife. There will be music, silence, compassion and understanding. Everyone is welcome… We will stand together, as always.”

Before that, she will be reposing at Massey Bros Funeral home in her native Blackrock from 3.30pm to 8pm.

A funeral mass will take place on Friday, 7th January at 10am in Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Foxrock followed by cremation in Newlands Cross Crematorium at 12.40pm.

Ms Beary was one of twelve people standing on a fourth-floor balcony of a rented apartment when it collapsed in the early hours of 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.

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The tragedy claimed the lives of Eimear Walsh (21) from Foxrock, Lorcán Miller (21) from Shankill, Niccolai Schuster (21) from Terenure, Eoghan Culligan (21) from Rathfarnham, Olivia Burke (21) from Foxrock, and her cousin Ashley Donohoe (22) from San Francisco.

The Irish students had travelled to the US on J-1 working visas and were celebrating Ms Beary’s 21st birthday in the Library Gardens apartment block the night of the horrific incident.

The wooden support beams under the balcony had rotted and gave way, sending the students plummeting to the ground.

A subsequent investigation found that the balcony had been built by a firm that in the previous three years had paid out $26.5m (€23.7m) in construction defect settlements that were never reported to the California Contractors State Licensing Board.

This practice was not illegal at the time and the settlements typically involved no admission of wrongdoing by the contractors and many also included confidentiality clauses.

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