Heartbroken family prepares to receive body of tragic Karen
Karen Buckley gave her black leather jacket to a friend just minutes before she vanished from a Scottish nightclub, it has emerged.
The 24-year-old Cork student offered the jacket to a friend who had suffered a broken zipper on her outfit - and was so concerned about it she was thinking of leaving the venue.
Glasgow detectives believe Karen offered her jacket to her friend to allow her stay out socialising.
It explains why the Mourneabbey nurse was not wearing the jacket when she left The Sanctuary nightclub on the night she vanished.
Karen was caught on CCTV camera footage leaving the nightclub wearing only her black jumpsuit outfit and carrying her handbag.
Detectives were baffled initially as to why the young woman had left the club without her jacket despite the cold after telling her friends she was going to the toilet. The CCTV footage at 1am on April 12 was the last of Karen alive.
The Scottish authorities are now set to release the body of the slain student within the next 24 hours to allow preparations for her funeral.
Karen's remains are expected to be flown back to her native Cork either on Friday or Saturday, depending on when final procedural matters are completed in Glasgow.
However, details of precisely when Karen's funeral will be held remain unclear.
Her distraught parents John (62) and Marian (61) and their sons Brendan (32), Kieran (28) and Damien (27) are liaising with the Irish consul in Edinburgh and Glasgow police about the repatriation.
The latest news in the case came as Tom Meagher, whose wife Jill was murdered in Australia by rapist Adrian Bayley, admitted he had "cried for hours" over what the Buckley family were now going through.
"I remember waking up the morning that I found out what happened and it was just so heartbreaking. I cried for hours," he told Newstalk.
"It is a very similar case to Jill in a way, but it is also very different in how individuals deal with this.
Mr Meagher's supportive words came as Mourneabbey residents expressed outrage at a British judge's remarks that referenced Karen's death.
Worcester District Judge Nigel Cadbury referred to the Glasgow tragedy when he suggested that young women can put themselves in a vulnerable position when out socialising with friends.
He said it was "very, very worrying" how unexpected circumstances on nights out can coincide with alcohol consumption, though there is no suggestion that Karen was intoxicated.
"It is a dreadful thing to say, particularly when the poor family has not even had a chance to bury their daughter. You'd think more respect and sensitivity would be shown," said Mallow resident Jim O'Sullivan.
Meanwhile, it is understood that two airlines have offered to help the Buckley family with the provision of special flight arrangements for Karen's repatriation.
Under Scottish law, a second post mortem examination can be ordered if requested, which had put her funeral arrangements on hold.
Until the issue was cleared, the authorities in Glasgow could not release Karen's remains .
Karen disappeared from Glasgow nightclub The Sanctuary on Dumbarton Road in the early hours of April 12.
Her body was found on an isolated hill farm north of Glasgow on April 15.
Courier firm director Alexander Pacteau (21) has been charged with Karen's murder and will appear again before Glasgow Sheriff's Court tomorrow.