THE exhausted family of Nicola Furlong last night made a sombre toast to their daughter's memory after arriving home to their native Wexford.
They opened a bottle of pink champagne in memory of the beautiful young woman who was buried in a pink coffin.
There were emotional scenes as her dad Andrew, mum Angela and sister Andrea touched down on home soil after the gruelling trial of Richard Hinds (19) in Japan.
Nicola (21) was found dead in the Keio Plaza hotel in Tokyo on May 24 last year.
Mr Furlong said that they planned to take a civil action against the hotel where Nicola was murdered.
"If they had done what they should have done Nicola mightn't be dead," he said.
Musician Hinds was found guilty of her murder but will only serve up to a maximum of 10 years with labour in prison.
It's believed that Hinds will be out in five years time with good behaviour.
"It's great to be home, we're still on Japanese time and we're exhausted," Nicola's mother Angela told The Herald last night. "It has been a long three weeks and now we can't wait to get home to our own beds," she added after 26 hours of travelling.
Nicola's father said that their first plan on arriving home was opening a bottle of champagne in memory of their daughter and sister, DCU student Nicola.
"I have a bottle of pink champagne in the fridge and we will have that tonight," he said.
The Furlongs will today visit the grave, who was buried in a pink coffin, for the first time since Hinds's conviction.
"We had spent so much time thinking about getting to Japan and going through the whole trial that I think it is only now in the coming weeks we'll hit that wall and grieve properly," she added.
Nicola's heartbroken sister Andrea thanked all their friends and neighbours for their support.
She said they had also received support from many people they didn't know around the country.
"We especially want to thank Megan O'Donnell, Angela Morris and Aileen Nolan for putting their lives on hold for us."