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Few in irish community 'untouched' by balcony tragedy

An Irish official has said that there are questions to be answered about the balcony collapse in Berkley, California, which left six Irish students dead.

However Philip Grant, Consul General of Ireland to the Western US told a press conference that the main priority was helping the families of those involved.

He told reporters the incident had left few untouched as the Irish community was so tight knit.

We're a very close, tight-knit group. Ireland is a small country, and when you have the numbers that we had here today, very few of us have been left untouched by this tragedy.

There are very much questions that we would like to know the answer to, but right at the moment, what we are concentrated on is basically finding out how everybody is, making sure that all those who need to know how their loved ones are are informed, and helping and assisting the families and the friends who are here.

– Philip Grant, Consul General of Ireland to the Western US

Families of Irish students killed in balcony collapse in US

Families of Irish students killed in balcony collapse in US Credit: NBC News

Families of some of the Irish students who died in a balcony collapse at a 21st birthday party have arrived in the US. The six dead - five from Ireland and one who was living in California - were killed when they plunged from a fourth floor apartment in the city of Berkeley.

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Dublin workman dies after exposure to sewer fumes

One workman has died and another is seriously ill after they were exposed to deadly fumes in a sewer under Portmarnock, near Dublin.

The men, employees of the drainage company DrainTech were working 20ft underneath a housing estate when they encountered the gas.

Authorities confirmed that two men, believed to be in their 40s, were removed from the sewer. One was pronounced dead at Beaumont Hospital, while the second is said to be in a serious condition.

Three members of Dublin Fire Brigade were also treated following the rescue efforts, two as a precaution for noxious gases and one who suffered a minor injury in the operation.

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane in motorway crash

The Republic of Ireland football club's management team has been involved in a motorway crash - with manager Martin O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane on board at the time.

Republic of Ireland's Manager Martin O'Neill (left) and assistant Roy Keane are reported to have been involved in the crash Credit: PA

The country's Football Association tweeted that their vehicle was rear-ended on the M50 in Dublin, and said everyone involved had returned to their hotel after being seen by the team doctor.

A spokesman said O'Neill and Keane were accompanied by coaches Seamus McDonagh, Steve Guppy and Steve Walford at the time of the accident.

The worst any of the five suffered were minor injuries, the FAI confirmed, with the team doctor able to look after their scrapes.

The accident comes ahead of the Republic's Euro 2016 qualifying match against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday.

The M50 motorway in Ireland runs in a C shape around much of Dublin.

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Ireland's Taoiseach calls for answers over Fifa payment

Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kelly has called on the head of Irish football to explain Fifa's 5m euros (£3.6m) compensation payment to Ireland for Thierry Henry's infamous handball in a World Cup play-off.

Football's world governing body is understood to have made the payment to ward off threatened legal action over the handball, which proved decisive in a goal that saw Ireland fail to qualify for the 2010 tournament.

Ireland had threatened to launch legal action after Thierry Henry's handball helped set up France's extra-time decider in the countries' World Cup playoff second leg in 2009. Credit: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Mr Kenny described the payment as "quite extraordinary" and called on Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief John Delaney to answer questions about it.

This is quite extraordinary. But I would say that any questions that need to be answered here in the interests of transparency and accountability ... John Delaney should answer and will answer all of those questions, I'm quite sure.

– Taoiseach Enda Kenny

The Fifa payment, initially a loan, was apparently agreed in return for the FAI not taking the case to court. Had Ireland qualified for the 2014 finals they would have had to pay the money back.

Bono: Ireland now a country of peace and equality

Credit: PA

U2 frontman Bono has celebrated Ireland's vote for gay marriage.

On the second night of their latest tour in the US, the star dedicated Pride (In The Name Of Love), one of the band's top hits, to mark the historic day.

On stage, in front of thousands, he said: "It's a moment for us to thank the people who bring us peace to our country. We have peace in Ireland today ...and in fact on this very day we have true equality in Ireland,"

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