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17th Jun 2022

Aoife Beary’s dad pens moving tribute on what would’ve been her 28th birthday

Sarah McKenna Barry

Aoife passed away earlier this year.

The father of Aoife Beary – who was among the young people injured in the Berkeley balcony collapse in 2015 – has paid tribute to her on what would have been her 28th birthday.

Aoife survived the fall, however, she passed away earlier this year after suffering a stroke. Her family says that this stroke was the result of injuries she suffered during the collapse. After sustaining a brain injury, multiple broken bones, and organ lacerations, she was treated at rehabilitation centres both in Dublin and California. She also had to undergo open-heart surgery.

Lorcán Miller, Eimear Walsh, Niccolai Schuster, Eoghan Culligan, Olivia Burke, and Ashley Donohoe lost their lives in the Berkeley balcony collapse, while others were injured.

Yesterday, on what would have been Aoife’s 28th birthday, her dad Mike shared a photo of her beside a birthday cake and wrote: “Happy 28th birthday Aoife forever in our hearts and never forgotten #smiling #determination #fun #hakunamatata.”

In the years following the collapse, Aoife campaigned tirelessly for legislation in California that would prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.

She pushed for building companies to release their public safety records, and to report any work-related crimes to settlements in the State of California.

In 2016, she appeared before the California State Legislature to testify about her experience. While there, she spoke about the need for contractors to be transparent to prevent another tragedy from taking place.

She told the Committee: “My friends and I were so looking forward to our summer in Berkeley. We had already traveled a lot and spent our summers together in Vancouver, Thailand, and Vietnam since we had started college. I could never have imagined how it could have ended.

“My life has changed forever. I cannot believe why you are even debating this Bill. People died.”