Victim's bedroom filled with thousands of letters of sympathy
THOUSANDS of letters and tokens of sympathy were sent to Karen Buckley's parents in the aftermath of her murder.
The couple placed them among the cuddly toys, clothes and hair products in her bedroom as they piled up on the doorstep of their home in the small community of Mourne- abbey, Co Cork.
Amid the devastating grief and horror of having their beloved daughter taken from them, they said they were "absolutely overwhelmed" by the prayers and messages of support that poured in from all over Ireland and Britain.
The family said yesterday they were able to draw great comfort from the fact their plight had touched so many hearts. They were particularly generous in their thanks to the people of Glasgow who had staged a special city centre vigil after Karen's body was found.
It was a cruel twist that Karen came from a loving and protective farming community, only to be discovered murdered on an isolated Scottish farm.
Four months after her death, Mourneabbey is still struggling to come to terms with a crime that has shaken the area to its very core.
Qualified nurse and University of Limerick graduate Karen wanted to become an occupational therapist because of the joy she got from helping others.
"She will be remembered as a dedicated student and someone who wanted to make a difference," course director Ann Fahy said.
People in Karen's home community recalled her bright smile and devotion to her family.
The Buckleys' neighbour, Cliona Forde, said the heartache was still palpable.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. It is so, so sad," she said.
Karen's friend, Julie Malone, said those who knew her will never forget her.
She posted photos of her online as a special tribute, and said she "enriched the lives of all who met her".