Sunday 17 December 2017

Berkeley survivor pays tribute to lost friends


Clodagh Cogley
Clodagh Cogley
The late Olivia Burke

A SURVIVOR of the Berkeley balcony collapse that claimed the lives of six young Irish people has paid a short but poignant tribute to the deceased.

Dublin native Clodagh Cogley was among those injured when a balcony collapsed during a 21st birthday party being hosted at the Berkeley University campus in California.

The Trinity College student suffered horrific spinal injuries as a result of the tragedy, and only returned to Ireland in August.

Clodagh has now paid a moving tribute to her friends who died on that tragic night on June 16.

"Today marks three months since Nick, Eoghan, Olivia, Eimear, Lorcan and Ashley were taken from us.

"I don't have the words to describe the sadness of their passing, so all I will say is that I am thinking of their families and friends. They are deeply missed," she wrote on her Facebook page.

The late Olivia Burke

Olivia Burke

Six students - Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcan Miller, Eimear Walsh, Ashley Donohoe and Olivia Burke - lost their lives in the horrific tragedy, while seven other students were injured.

Clodagh, Sean Fahey, Conor Flynn and Jack Halpin all returned home in the last number of weeks, while Aoife Beary returned home to Ireland just last week. Hannah Waters is still receiving treatment at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Last week, Niall Murray, who was among the injured described how he felt guilty that he survived the tragedy while six other people died.

"I remember the night, the only thing I don't remember is how I hit the ground," he said in an emotional press conference.

Clodagh Cogley suffered two collapsed lungs, a broken shoulder, a broken knee and five broken ribs as a result of the balcony collapse.

She also broke her spinal cord, meaning she may never walk again.

The tragedy has highlighted the true impact a life changing trauma can have on a person, and Spinal Injuries Ireland (SII) has launched a campaign to raise money for those who have sustained a life-changing spinal injury.

To show support for those who have sustained a life changing spinal cord injury, people are asked to wear green and make a €4 donation by texting CORD to 50300.

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