herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Heartbroken family prepares to receive body of tragic Karen Buckley (24)

murder

Karen Buckley
Karen Buckley

THE Scottish authorities are set to release the body of murdered student Karen Buckley (24) within the next 24 hours to allow preparations for her funeral in Ireland to proceed.

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 in the tight-knit farming community of Mourneabbey remain unclear.

distraught

Her distraught parents John (62) and Marion (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 revelation 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.

"The only thing I can say to them is take love where you can find it and take comfort in your family and friends. They have a very hard road ahead as I know all too well."

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 in Dumbarton Road in the early hours of April 12.

The University of Limerick nursing graduate had only moved to Glasgow in January to study at Caledonian University for her Masters Degree.

She had previously worked at the Princess Alexandria Hospital in Harlow, Essex.

darkness

After one of the biggest missing person search operations in Scottish history, 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.

Mourneabbey community groups have already offered volunteer services to support the funeral arrangements ranging from car parking stewards to drivers.

Fr Joe O'Keeffe said that while "a darkness" was cast over Mourneabbey by the tragedy, people are drawing comfort from how the people of north Cork and Glasgow have rallied to show solidarity with the heartbroken Buckley family.

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