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Sunday 11 December 2016

Berkeley friends saddle up for marathon spin to aid victims

Jenna Spears, pictured taking part in the Cycle for Berkeley at the Dundrum Town Centre this afternoon.
Jenna Spears, pictured taking part in the Cycle for Berkeley at the Dundrum Town Centre this afternoon.
Jenna Spears, Aoife Keane, Ciara Lynch, Karen Meany and Ciaran Noone pictured taking part in the Cycle for Berkeley at the Dundrum Town Centre
Berkeley tragedy

A group of volunteers are peddling the distance to California in memory of the Berkeley balcony collapse victims.

The 72-hour stationary cycle, which will cover the equivalent distance from Dublin to Berkeley, has been organised in Dundrum Town Centre by friends of those closely affected by the tragedy, which happened in June.

A group of students from UCD, DIT and NUI Galway organised the fundraiser to remember the six students who passed away and those who are still receiving treatment for their injuries.

"Everything is running smoothly and every cyclist has shown up," said Kevin Dunne, one of the Cycle for Berkeley organisers.

"We have got a lot of support and plenty of donations.

"UCD Students' Union has donated copious amounts of water, wine gums and bars for people taking part.

"The original idea was to cycle around Ireland, but logistics-wise, we had to scale it down and one of the lads came up with this idea.

"There are mostly students taking part, and people who knew the victims," he said.

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Jenna Spears, Aoife Keane, Ciara Lynch, Karen Meany and Ciaran Noone pictured taking part in the Cycle for Berkeley at the Dundrum Town Centre

Over 400 cyclists will hop on spinning bikes to cover the 16,310km distance over three days.

Volunteers do two-hour shifts and there are 13 cyclists at any one time, to represent each victim of the tragedy. There were 468 cycle slots filled, with some people volunteering for more than one shift and the event will continue until 12pm on Sunday.

The spinning bikes have been donated by DIT on Kevin Street and UCD Sport and Fitness. There are collections each day to raise money for the injured victims.

A panel of impartial medical, financial and legal advisors will to decide how to administer the fund to victims of the tragedy.

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