Relatives of four of the victims of the Berkeley balcony collapse have thanked the public for their support, and appealed for time and space for the young people to recover.
A joint statement from the relatives of Aoife Beary, Clodagh Cogley, Niall Murray and Hannah Waters say their constant thoughts and prayers are with the relatives of the six young people killed in the incident last month.
Four survivors are being treated in a hospital in Santa Clara, south of San Francisco.
Eimear Walsh, Ashley Donohoe, Olivia Burke, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcán Miller and Eoghan Culligan were killed in the fourth-floor balcony collapse on June 16.
Three of their injured friends - Conor Flynn, Seán Fahey and Jack Halpin - have already returned to Dublin, where they are receiving treatment.
"We hope that our children will be able to make their way home in the coming weeks and months, when they are individually ready and sufficiently strong enough to do so," the families said in a statement last night.
"We obviously share everyone's wish for speedy recoveries, but we have found that every new week brings more complexity and that the road to recovery is far from straight, even in the very best of clinical environments.
"…In the circumstances, we hope you will understand and accept our need as parents and siblings to be overprotective of our brothers, sisters and our kids for some time to come. They have been through so much."
Flowers and tributes at the scene.
The families thanked all who had helped their children after the balcony collapse, saying: "We are very mindful of the many friends who were there in Berkeley that terrible night, some of whom were also seriously injured and others who responded so tenderly to the needs of our children at the scene."
"We are so grateful for what they have done and for what they are continuing to do. They too are victims, and they have also had to deal with the trauma of this terrible loss.
"We salute them all as genuine heroes and we ask them to take great care of themselves and to continue to look after each other in the coming difficulties. They too will take time to heal."
It is thought that more than €16,000 has been raised for Aoife Beary's treatment. Aoife was celebrating her 21st birthday on the night of the balcony collapse.
She remains in hospital in the US with a serious brain injury. A statement in early July on the Friends of Aoife Beary Facebook said she had slowly started to awaken from an induced coma.