On his trip of the West Coast, which will include tech stops at Microsoft and Google, the president of Ireland will also plant a tree in Berkeley to remember the six Irish students who died when a balcony collapsed earlier this summer.
President Michael Higgins and his wife, Sabina Higgins are expected to meet Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates to plant a tree at the Martin Luther King Civic Center on Oct. 28 to honor the lost lives of the six students: Olivia Burke, 21; Eoghan Culligan, 21; Niccolai Schuster, 21; Lorcan Miller, 21; and Eimear Walsh, 21, all of Ireland; and Ashley Donohoe, 22, of Rohnert Park.
The presidential couple plan to also meet with the first responders who rushed to the students’ aid after the tragedy, according to his full itinerary posted in the Irish Times.
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The students, most of whom were on a J-1 visa work exchange program from Ireland, were killed June 16 when a balcony collapsed at the Library Gardens complex at 2020 Kittredge St. They were there to celebrate a friend's 21st birthday party. That student was among seven students who were injured in the collapse.