It's a nightmare, say friends of 'bubbly and beautiful girl' Karen Buckley
THE grief-stricken family of Karen Buckley (24) were overwhelmed by messages of sympathy and support from all over Ireland and the world.
Mourneabbey locals in north Cork rallied to support Karen's parents, John (62) and Marian (61), and her brothers, Brendan (32), Kieran (28) and Damien (27) after the horrific news that her body had been found on an isolated Glasgow farm.
Mourneabbey parish priest Fr Joe O'Keeffe vowed that the farming community will now do everything possible to ease the pain of the Buckley family.
"It is devastating," he said.
Analeentha national school principal, Susan O'Keeffe paid tribute to the Karen she know.
"Karen was a beautiful girl and a wonderful student here," she said. "They (the Buckleys) are such a lovely family. Mourneabbey and the entire world is shocked by this"
Karen's old Mourneabbey schoolfriend, Denyse O'Brien, said everyone was heartbroken.
Neighbour Cliona Forde, fought back tears as she spoke of the devastating loss of such a wonderful young woman.
"It is every parent's worst nightmare," she said.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this awful time. It is so, so sad."
Karen's former college, University of Limerick (UL), also issued a statement of support.
A candle and photograph of the 24-year-old rests on a table in the reception area of the UL Health Science Building.
This lunchtime a mass will take place in the UL Contemplative to pray for the Cork woman remembered by former teaching staff as a "bright engaging student" and the perfect candidate for a career nursing.
"I knew Karen over the four years she was here," said UL course director Anne Fahy.
"She was an excellent student, she had such an open and bubbly personality.
"She had a very kind heart and her whole aim in life was to help people, which is very evident from all the support that we are getting from people in the past few days and the acknowledgement from around the world."
Nursing head Dr Pauline O'Reilly said the entire college community was shocked and saddened by the tragic news.
"I would have taught Karen myself and she would have been a very bright and a very engaging girl."
Tommy Bolger, UL Students Union president, said students were greatly "shocked and saddened" by the news.
Karen's former secondary school, St Mary's in Mallow, offered prayers for her and her family.
The Bishop of Cloyne, Dr William Crean, said everyone in Ireland and the UK was "deeply touched" by the "unconditional love" shown by John and Marian for their missing daughter.
Condolences were also extended to the Buckley family by politicians across Ireland and Scotland.
Tanaiste Joan Burton said the thoughts and prayers of the entire Irish people were with Karen's family.
Mourneabbey-based Councillor John Paul O'Shea said the area was gripped by "shock and total disbelief."
Cork East TD and Development Minister Sean Sherlock said everyone was "deeply upset" by the news from Glasgow after a mammoth four-day search for the missing student.
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said it was heartbreaking news for the Buckley family.
"On behalf of the Government, I wish to express appreciation for all that has been done by the Scottish authorities, and especially Police Scotland in Glasgow, to find Karen and to support the Buckley family throughout this very difficult time," he said.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stressed everyone had sympathy for the plight of the Buckley family.
She expressed her personal condolences and vowed that Scotland would continue to do whatever was possible to support the family.