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Friday 2 December 2016

Friends, families and firms rally to boost funds for victims of US balcony collapse

fundraisers

Clodagh Cogley
Clodagh Cogley
Owner of Quality Dry Cleaners Joe Sweeney with Berkeley Fund coordinator Shona Dunleavy

A fund to help students injured in the Berkeley balcony collapse tragedy is set to get a further boost tomorrow.

Quality Dry Cleaners will donate half of all their takings on clothes brought to their three Dublin shops for cleaning all day tomorrow.

A fundraising barbecue is also planned.

Four of the seven students injured in the disaster in California are receiving treatment for serious injuries in a rehabilitation centre in the US - Aoife Beary, Clodagh Cogley, Niall Murray and Hannah Waters. The remaining three injured students - Sean Fahey, Conor Flynn and Jack Halpin - recovered sufficiently to return to Ireland.

"Any news we have of them has been very positive," said Shona Dunleavy, a friend of injured student Clodagh Cogley, who is receiving treatment in the US.

"All the students continue to get messages of support with a constant flow of good wishes on social media," said Shona.

"We're delighted Quality Dry Cleaners is raising funds. Every donation will help support the students and their families," she said.

The company is calling on people to drop their items off at their stores in Leopardstown Shopping Centre, Ballinteer Shopping Centre and on Orwell Road in Rathgar.

"I am very close to one of the student's families who was involved in the balcony tragedy in Berkeley," said Joe Sweeney, owner of the business.

"All of my colleagues at Quality Dry Cleaners know someone who was affected in the tragedy. Being a father, I can only imagine the impact this is having on the families of those affected.

"I wanted to do something to raise much-needed funds for them," he said.

A fundraising barbecue will also take place at the Leopardstown Shopping Centre on Saturday with the support of local businesses.

Concert

Berkeley Fundraiser volunteers raised €30,000 last month with a fundraising concert night in The Academy venue in Dublin, which saw performances from Kodaline, Gavin James and Mundy among others.

People can get involved in a number of ways, by dropping off their dry-cleaning at any of the three participating stores; making a cash donation in-store on the day, or by donating to the fund at gofund.me/berkeleyfund.

Five Irish students and one Irish-American were killed in June when the balcony they were standing on collapsed at a 21st birthday party at the Berkeley apartment building.

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