We are all deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic accident in Berkeley, San Francisco yesterday. Six Irish students lost their lives and three were from our own UCD community. We extend our condolences to the families and friends of Niccolai Schuster, 2nd year BA History and Politics, Eimear Walsh and Lorcán Miller, both 3rd year Medicine. We also send our sympathies to the families of Eoghan Culligan, Olivia Burke and Ashley Donohoe.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha.
A number of students were injured in the accident and are in the care of hospitals in Berkeley. The Department of Foreign Affairs has been organising travel arrangements for their families. In addition, there are quite a number of Irish students in the area on J1 visas who may need comfort and support. Through the Consul General a number of local Irish organisations have also been providing assistance and help to our own and to other Irish students
We have also been in touch with University of California Berkeley Counselling Services and they are open from 10.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday at the Tang Centre, 3rd Floor, 2222 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. (T: 001-510-642-9494).
Karina O’Neill, UCD International, is based in California and she has already met up and supported many of the students in San Francisco. She will be joined by Fr John McNerney who is currently en route from Dublin
We know that many of you are working and travelling overseas at the moment and may be feeling deeply upset at this tragedy. We have opened an online book of condolence on the website www.ucd.ie where you can express your sympathy and feelings. We encourage you to keep in touch with your families and to support one another.
For students who are currently in Ireland, we would like to make you aware of a number of events and supports in UCD over the coming days:
- For those who would welcome the opportunity to come together, we are providing a drop-in space in UCD’s chaplaincy tomorrow, Thursday (18th June) from 12.00-6.00pm. You are very welcome to call in individually or in groups during this time and our student advisors and other staff will be there for you.
- The UCD counselling team are available to any student or staff member who wishes to avail of their service. You can make an appointment by calling 01 7163134.
- With the Students’ Union, we will conduct an interfaith prayer service in Belfield Church on Friday 19th June at 1.00pm. All staff and students as well as families and friends are welcome to attend. There will be refreshments afterwards in the Student Centre.
During these days close to this very sad event we all try to provide as much practical and emotional support as possible. We are also aware of the longer term needs of those who have been affected by this event and our student support services along with the academic staff of the university will be available to work with students when they return to campus in September.