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Berkeley tragedy survivor Aoife Beary tells Sacramento hearing of devastation left behind

By Catherine Devine

Dubliner Aoife Beary, who survived the Berkeley balcony collapse last June, told a public hearing in Sacramento, California about the devastation the tragedy has left behind.

Aoife was celebrating her 21st birthday party when the tragedy occurred and six young people lost their lives.

They were Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke, Niccolai Schuster, Eoghan Culligan and Lorcán Miller and Ashley Donohoe.

According to RTÉ, today at a state hearing in Sacramento she said: "I miss my friends so much."

"I’ve known them since we started school together at four years of age. We had grown up together and now my birthday will always be their anniversary."

She told the hearing about the injuries she sustained which included a "dramatic brain injury, open heart surgery, broken arms, hands, pelvis and jaw along with losing teeth".

"I had alterations with my kidney, liver and spline. I had a collapsed lung and broken lung. None of this needed to happen."

Aoife’s mother Angela Beary told the hearing she speaks on behalf of all the devastated families.

"I know I speak now on behalf of all the 13 families when I say as a result of the balcony collapse all our lives have been irrevocably changed and life will never be the same for us again."

Jackie Donohue, mother of Irish American Ashley Donohue who died said the young people who died on the balcony that night have been failed by a system that helps companies hide their negligence.

Construction industry representatives today withdrew their opposition to a new law which will require them to report previous convictions for shoddy work.

Irish Independent

Irish Independent

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