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Berkeley balcony collapse survivor Aoife Beary passes away in Dublin hospital


Aoife Beary

Aoife Beary

Aoife Beary

Tributes have been paid to Aoife Beary, a survivor of the tragic 2015 balcony collapse in Berkeley, California who has died in hospital this week.

Ms Beary was studying pharmacology in UCD at the time of the Berkeley tragedy and the university’s Students’ Union was one of the first to pay tribute following the news of her death.

On Twitter the Students’ Union wrote: “Tragic news. Our sincere condolences to Aoife’s family. May she RIP. Berkeley Balcony Collapse Survivor Aoife Beary Dies, Aged 27.”

Miss Beary died in Beaumont Hospital Dublin on Saturday, after suffering a stroke on Wednesday, the Irish Times has reported.

On June 16, 2015, Aoife Beary was celebrating her 21st birthday in California with a group of friends.Thirteen of them were standing on a balcony when the structure gave way; dropping them 40 feet onto the pavement below.

During the incident Ms Beary suffered a brain injury, numerous broken bones, lacerations to organs and she had to undergo open heart surgery.

Six others also sustained life-changing injuries, while Irish students Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcán Miller, Eoghan Culligan, all aged 21, and Irish-American Ashley Donohoe (22) all lost their lives in the tragedy.

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Since then Ms Beary has campaigned for the creation and enforcement of stricter construction laws in the state of California.

Addressing legislators in California's State Assembly in August 2016, Ms Beary said her thoughts were for the six friends who died in the balcony tragedy.

"Now my birthday will always be their anniversary.

"I miss them so much," she said of the friends she lost, who had "grown up together”.

In September of that year California law makers passed a bill to address the accountability gaps revealed by the Berkeley tragedy and to bring more oversight to the construction contractors' industry.

Aoife Beary is survived by her parents Mike and Angela and her younger siblings Tim and Anna.

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