Aoife Berry “insisted on living the good life” after surviving the Berkeley balcony collapse in the summer of 2015, in which six of her friends were killed, her funeral mass was heard Friday.
James O’Doherty, her uncle and godfather, told mourners that she wanted to live a fulfilling life on behalf of those killed in the tragedy – Lorcan Miller, Eimer Walsh, Nikolai Schuster, Eoghan Culligan, Olivia Burke and Ashley. Donoho.
He added that Ms Berry “definitely achieved this” in the “six short years” since the incident.
A 27-year-old man from Blackrock, Dublin, died of a stroke on New Year’s Day at Beaumont Hospital. She was one of seven students who survived a balcony collapse at the Library Garden apartment in Berkeley, California, on June 16, 2015.
Ms Berry had suffered a severe brain injury and was left with multiple injuries, including broken bones and limb wounds, and received treatment and rehabilitation in hospitals in California and Dublin in the months following the accident. .
The former UCD pharmacology student was in the US on a J-1 visa with friends and was celebrating her 21st birthday on the night of the incident.
In later years, Ms. Berry campaigned for stricter building regulations in California, and in 2016, she testified before the state legislature there while she was hearing presentations on stricter building-standards laws. In recent years, he studied occupational therapy at Oxford Brookes University in England.
Most of the young people mourned at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Sucker in Foxrock, which was led by Ms. Berry’s parents Angela and Mike, and younger siblings Tim and Anna. President Michael D. Higgins was represented by his aide-de-camp, Colonel Stephen Howard.
Dozens of mourners, who were unable to enter because of COVID-19 social distancing rules, stood under gray skies and in snow and hail for the hour-long service. For days in a row in June 2015, Ms. Walsh and Ms. Burke were cremated at the same church.
Addressing “Dear Aoife”, Mr. O’Doherty said: “Your fight is over. You fought such a good fight. The burden of your injuries and the burden of dealing with them didn’t leave much room for joy in living but You insisted on living life well.
“You emphasized a life full of meaning and purpose. It was based on your ability to connect with people—the strong friendships you formed from a very young age.”
She continued: “She insisted on living life well and this especially showed in her reaction to the accident. She continued to build on all her innate abilities. She didn’t let the accident define her or become a victim.
“Aoife earned her degree in pharmacology before Berkeley and was well on her way to earning her occupational therapy degree after Berkeley.”
Chief celebrant Father Kieran Dunne described Ms. Berry as a “beautiful young lady”, saying that her death “crushes us with a sense of utter wonder, deep sadness and despair. She said it left her mother-in-law.” Has removed “an object of such tender nurturing and careful love” from the father.
She was “a person of remarkable gift and talent, a woman who suffered the loss of many friends and personal injury to herself and others; a man who re-embodied life and its possibilities, especially in her friendships and Discovered new growth and life in his study at Oxford Brookes.
Family friend Nessa O’Mahony read poems – her own title, A Poppy for Aoife, was written in the summer of 2015, and started by Brendan Keneally.
The latter, she said, was about the need to keep going “in spite of everything”, an attitude she said was embodied by Ms Berry.
“Though we live in a world that dreams of ending / Which seems always about giving / Something that won’t accept the conclusion / Insist that we begin forever,” Poem Reads.
Among the songs played were On Eagles Wings, You Raise Me Up, and Egg Kryst en Seoul. As Ms. Berry’s wicker coffin was draped in chariots by friends and family, the recurring music was Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
Ms Berry’s remains were taken for cremation after Mass, after hearing that her organs had been donated.