The Ireland United States Alumni Association (IUSA) has passed on its deepest sympathies to the families of the victims of the Berkeley tragedy. The association numbers among its alumni many J1 students who have travelled to the US on the student work visas.
Siobhan Byrne Learat, chairperson of IUSA, said: “Our deepest sympathies go to the families of the victims of the Berkeley tragedy. As a mother of a J1 student currently in Berkeley, I fully understand the trauma of the tragic events of yesterday morning and how it has impacted on every parent who has a child abroad. We hope that those currently in hospital, some of whom have suffered very severe injuries, make a full recovery and are reunited with their loved ones.”
“The J1 work programme has been an invaluable initiative for thousands of Irish students. Since its inception, over 150,000 students have taken up places and learned invaluable work and life experiences which have impacted progressively on their lives. We will continue, as an alumni organisation, to foster a network among J1 students in Ireland and offer a hand of friendship,” she added.