Six lives lost in Berkeley as young Templeogue man saves life of friend
A HOSPITIALISED Templeogue GAA player has been thanked for saving the life of a friend during the tragic balcony collapse in California, which sadly took the lives of six young people – three of whom have connections to South Dublin County.
Flags continue to fly half-mast for the six young students who lost their lives when a balcony in Berkeley collapsed in the early hours of Tuesday morning – with seven other young people, who were in the apartment to celebrate a 21st birthday, currently being treated in hospital for injuries.
The community of South Dublin County came to a standstill when it emerged that three of the young people who passed away have ties to the area; Eoghan Culligan (21) from Rathfarnham, a member of Ballyboden St Enda’s, Niccolai Schuster (21) from Terenure, a good friend of Eoghan’s who played for St Mary’s College RFC and Olivia Burke (21), whose family has ties to Tallaght and Thomas Davis GAA Club.
Eoghan, Niccolai and Olivia sadly lost their lives alongside pals Lorcan Miller (21), who was studying medicine at UCD, Eimear Walsh, also a medicine student who had attended Loreto College in Foxrock, and Ashley Donohoe (22), an Irish-American citizen and a cousin of Olivia Burke.
Among the seven injured is Jack Halpin, a footballer with St Jude’s GAA in Templeogue who is currently in intensive care in California.
Jack’s dad John Halpin is also a senior hurling coach with the local club.
This week, survivor Clodagh Cogley from Milltown, who received injuries to her spine, knee and shoulder, expressed her thanks to Jack, after he grabbed her, helping to break her fall.
As parents this week make the dark trip to California, tributes to those who lost their lives have been flooding social media, with people unknown to the families also expressing their anguish over the loss of these young Irish.
In a heartfelt tribute to Eoghan Culligan, St Enda’s Ballyboden said: “Eoghan has been a member of Ballyboden St Enda’s since childhood and was part of the Minor A Championship team that were beaten by Castleknock GAA in the county final of 2011.
“Eoghan was very popular with his team mates and this tragic news is keenly felt by all members of our Club, but especially by those players and mentors who knew him well.”
St Jude’s GAA Club has also offered their condolences to the families, friends and club members of those bereaved following the tragic event.
The club added: “One of our own members, Jack Halpin has been injured during the incident and is currently being cared for in hospital.
“Jack and his family Johnny, Dolores and Marie are foremost in our thoughts at this time and we wish both him and the other injured students a speedy recovery.”
St Mary’s RFC has expressed its condolences to the family of Niccolai Schuster, with the club planning to hold a memorial service soon.
Investigations into the cause of the accident are currently underway in Berekely and here at home, a book of condolence has been opened in County Hall, Tallaght.
The book will remain open until Monday, June 22.