22-Year-Old Rohnert Park Woman Among 6 Dead in Berkeley Balcony Collapse | NBC Bay Area
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22-Year-Old Rohnert Park Woman Among 6 Dead in Berkeley Balcony Collapse

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    A Rohnert Park woman was killed in a balcony collapse in Berkeley early Tuesday. Michelle Roberts reports. (Published Tuesday, June 16, 2015)

    A Bay Area woman who was one of six people killed when a balcony collapsed early Tuesday in Berkeley was an exceptional student athlete, her high school officals told NBC Bay Area.

    Ashley Donohoe, 22, graduated from Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park. The school's assistant principal called her death a loss for the entire community. 

    A dual American-Irish citizen, Donohue was a senior biology major at Sonoma State University, a spokesperson for the school told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Photos, from what appears to be her Facebook profile, show her skydiving, paddle boarding and bungee jumping.

    The other five victims were all 21-year-olds from Ireland. They were identified as: Olivia Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcan Miller and Eimear Walsh. Most were from Dublin. Burke was Donohoe's cousin.

    Clockwise from top left: Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke, Ashley Donohoe, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcan Miller
    Photo credit: Photo Courtesy: The Irish Times

    The Irish students who died were in the U.S. on a J-1 visa, a popular program that allows international students to work in the U.S. The Irish Consul General Philip Grant said 700 Irish students were in the Bay Area on J-1 visas taking part in a summer work program, and that the Bay Area is a particularly sought after destination. "There's very few countries that are connected to the West Coast as we are, particularly with companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook that are there," Grant said.

    Irish students in the Bay Area expressed shock and disbelief.

    "I looked at my phone this morning saying I had 27 missed calls from my mom," said visiting Irish student Gemma Parsons. "So many Irish students come to Berkeley, everyone's parents were freaking out."

    Photos, on what appear to be victims' Facebook profiles, show they were fun-loving and loved to travel. 

    Nick Schuster updated his Facebook cover photo to that of Warriors star Steph Curry on June 5. According to the profile, Schuster was from Dublin and went to St. Mary's College.

    Eoghan Culligan's profile shows photos of him hanging out with his friends, including one on top of Sugarloaf Mountain. Culligan was a member of the BodenGAA amateur football team since childhood, according to a post on their Facebook page.

    "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,"  the team wrote.

    Lorcan Miller's Facebook profile shows he studied medicine at University College Dublin.

    University College Dublin President Andrew Deeks expressed heartbreak at the news of the accident involving UCD students and their friends. It's not immediately clear who else among the five attended UCD. The university has started a Book of Condolence for the students who lost their lives.

    "It is with deepest sadness that I speak of the tragic accident involving UCD students and their friends in San Francisco," the statement said. "On behalf of the entire university community, I wish to extend our condolences to the families and friends of those who died and to those who were injured. We cannot comprehend the desperate shock and grief they are feeling and we are heartbroken at their suffering and loss."

    Burke and Walsh worked as hostesses at the Hana Zen sushi bar and Japanese restaurant on Pier 39, SFGate reported. Restaurant owner Alvin Louie described them as "hard workers and very sweet."

    The restaurant plans to hold a candlelight vigil in their memory.

    Jodi Hernandez contributed to this report.

     

    " It is with great regret and sadness that we inform you that Ballyboden St Enda's member Eoghan Culligan was one of the...

    Posted by BodenGAA on Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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