Sporting heroes line out for Berkeley balcony collapse victim

Irish rugby stars past and present will line out this Saturday in support of Berkeley balcony collapse victim Aoife Beary.

A team of former Ireland rugby internationals will take to the pitch in the Aoife Beary Fun-Raiser Tag Tournament, and Ireland and Leinster back row Sean O’Brien will be in attendance to give out prizes to the winning teams.

Leading the the team is Donal Canniffe, the man who famously captained the Munster team which beat the All Blacks in Thomond Park in 1978. He will be joined by Fiona Coghlan, who captained Ireland to the Ireland to the first Women’s Six Nations win in 2013 and made history when they beat New Zealand in the World Cup last year.

The Irish legends will face off against teams who have entered themselves into the tag rugby event.

Family and friends of Aoife Beary are organising the fundraiser to support her rehabilitation and recuperation.

Aoife was injured in Berkeley the night she was celebrating her 21st birthday and the last of the injured to be taken off the critical list. She was moved from ICU to the Valley Medical Rehab Centre in California last week.

Eimear O’Doherty, Aoife’s cousin and spokeswoman for the Aoife Beary Fun-Raiser Event, said the event was an effort to help Aoife’s recovery and bring some joy out of a tragic event.

“Aoife continues to fight every day. She has a long road ahead of her and we’re just trying to do whatever we can to help,” said Ms O’Doherty.

“We just want to bring some enjoyment, something positive, out of something so tragic.”

Ms O’Doherty, who has just returned from visiting her cousin in California, says that, after a month in ICU, Aoife is showing signs of recovery.

“She is showing great spirit after being reunited with her family,” said Ms O’Doherty. “She still has a long fight ahead of her but even with a serious head injury and after emergency heart surgery, she is showing signs of recovery.”

The Aoife Beary Fun-Raiser Tag Event kicks off this Saturday at Donnybrook Stadium from 11am to 6pm. To register a team or purchase a supporters tickets visit eventbrite.ie and search for Aoife Beary.

It’s €25 to play and entry tickets for supporters are €10 online or at the gate, under-12s go free. It will be a family fun day open to all, with a BBQ, kids entertainment, excellent raffle prizes and a DJ

People can also show their support by making a donation on eventbrite.ie. For queries about the event, contact theaoifebearyfunraiser@gmail.com.

Meanwhile, a minute’s silence was held before the Manchester United versus San Jose Earthquakes match last night night in California as a mark of respect to the victims and survivors of the Berkeley tragedy.

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