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Ireland government advises against Tunisia travel

The Irish government has joined the Foreign Office in warning travellers against visiting Tunisia.

Following consultations and consideration of the security situation in Tunisia, Irish citizens are being advised to avoid non-essential travel to Tunisia in light of increased security concerns.

We are encouraging any Irish visitors to Tunisia to review whether their presence in Tunisia is essential and, where it is not, we are advising them to leave by commercial means.

Any Irish citizens in Tunisia who are not yet registered with the Department but who plan to remain in Tunisia are advised to register without delay.

Bodies of balcony collapse students arrive in Dublin

Top L-R: Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke, and Ashley Donohoe. Bottom L-R: Lorcan Miller, Niccolai Schuster, and Eoghan Culligan

The bodies of four of the five Irish students who died when a balcony collapsed at a party in California last week are being returned to Dublin today. The fifth will be returned soon after a joint funeral for and her American cousin.

Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke, Ashley Donohoe, Lorcan Miller, Niccolai Schuster, and Eoghan Culligan were all killed while celebrating a 21st birthday party in Berkeley.

Their families issued a statement of thanks to all those who supported them in the last week in the US and Ireland.

"As we leave Berkeley and return home to Ireland with our beloved sons and daughters, Eimear, Eoghan, Lorcan and Niccolai, we would like to thank everyone in America and Ireland for their sympathy and support, which has been a tremendous comfort to us at this tragic time," they said.

Hundreds gather in emotional tribute to Irish students

Hundreds of Irish students and friends and relatives of those killed or injured in a balcony collapse in the US have held an emotional candlelit vigil.

Women hold candles at the vigil in California. Credit: Reuters
Young men place candles on the ground. Credit: Reuters
Photos of the victims including Niccolai Schuster. Credit: Reuters

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Balcony collapse caused by 'water-damaged wood'

An investigation into the cause of a balcony collapsing in California killing six Irish students has found it may have been caused by 'water-damaged wood'.

According the to Associated Press, Mayor Tom Bates said that so far the investigation points to water damage being the possible cause.

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New York Times 'sorry' for balcony deaths coverage

The New York Times has apologised for an "insenitive" article relating to the deaths of six students in a balcony collapse in California, after Ireland's equality minister branded the coverage a "disgrace".

Workmen examine the damage at the scene of the balcony collapse in Berkeley, California Credit: Reuters

The paper followed up its initial reporting on the deaths of the 21 and 22-year-olds - five of them Irish and one Irish-American - with an opinion piece referencing the "drunken partying" of Irish students.

It claimed that an Irish-American exchange programme was an "embarrassment" to Ireland and suggested that the fatal balcony collapse had cast a shadow over the programme.

Ireland’s junior minister for new communities, culture and equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, called the article a "disgrace" and demanded an apology.

In an official statement issued today, the newspaper conceded that it had used language that "could be interpreted as insensitive".

"It was never our intention to blame the victims and we apologise if the piece left that impression," it added.

Mr Ó Ríordáin has described the apology as "pathetic" in a post on Twitter.

The six students were standing on the fourth-floor balcony at an apartment in Berkeley on Tuesday when the structure collapsed.

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