Statement by U.S. Ambassador on the Anniversary of the Berkeley Tragedy

U.S. Embassy Dublin

Office of Public Affairs

June 16, 2016

On the first anniversary of the unimaginable tragedy that unfolded in Berkeley, California on June 16 last year and affected all of Irish society, the people of the United States extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families, friends, and loved ones of the students who lost their lives or were injured. In a remembrance ceremony today in Ballsbridge with U.S. Embassy personnel, we planted an apple tree in the Embassy’s front courtyard and unveiled a memorial plaque to serve as a living tribute to those affected by the tragedy. As the tree grows strong, we will take comfort in the knowledge that the memory of Ashley, Eimear, Eoghan, Lorcan, Niccolai, and Olivia, will remain with us always.

We also hold in our thoughts and prayers the young people who are still recovering from their injuries; that they may continue to heal with the love and support of family and friends here and in the United States. The remarkable resilience they have displayed sends a powerful reminder to the world of the friendship between our people and of our capacity to unite in times of adversity. I hope the outpouring of love and support from the American people in the aftermath of this tragedy has provided some comfort and brought us closer together.

Friendship has always been at the heart of the J-1 Summer Work and Travel program. As we have seen over the last 50 years with more than 150,000 Irishparticipants, the program has created bonds of friendship between U.S. and Irish youth that last a lifetime, and we remain committed to its continued success.

Kevin F. O’Malley – U.S. Ambassador to Ireland