“Today is an horrific day for those who have lost loved ones in tragic circumstances in San Francisco and for all those affected. In my Department and in our Consulate in San Francisco, the students and their families have been at the centre of our thoughts and actions today.
“We have taken a number of practical steps to assist. Our Consulate in San Francisco and the Department’s Emergency Consular Response Team in Dublin continue to work with the local authorities to identify and make contact with the families of all the Irish students involved in this morning’s tragic incident in Berkley.
“The identities of the deceased Irish citizens are in the process of being officially confirmed. Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with the families and friends of the deceased at this most difficult time.
“We are also working with the authorities across several hospitals to confirm the extent of the injuries suffered by our citizens involved, and to relay this information to families as soon as possible.
“Our Consul General in San Francisco is in close contact with Irish community organisations on the ground, and I welcome their offers of assistance and expression of solidarity at this difficult time.
“My thoughts are also with the many young students, who escaped injury but will be deeply shocked at the events. I would like to pay tribute to those who assisted at the scene and who have been working with the local authorities. These will be difficult days for everyone who has experienced this traumatic event, but the students are not on their own and led by our Consulate in San Francisco all assistance possible will be extended to them.
“Our Consular Emergency Response line received an unprecedented volume of calls this afternoon. This demonstrates that this is an incident that has touched many Irish families – not just those whose sons and daughters were actually there, but all families who have a loved one travelling this summer.
“I would again urge Irish students in the San Francisco area who have not yet been in touch with their families in Ireland to please do so. To those families who have contacted the Department, I would ask that they update us if they have heard from their loved one.
“Anyone with concerns about friends or family in the region, should call the Emergency Consular Response Team on +353 1 418 0200.”