Heartache of Karen's murder still felt in hometown
Published 12/08/2015 | 02:30
Four months after Karen Buckley's murder, the north Cork community of Mourneabbey is still struggling to come to terms with a crime that has shaken the area to its very core.
The brutal nature of Karen's death as she walked home alone from a Glasgow nightclub stands in stark contrast to the 24-year old's wish to devote her life to helping others.
The young nurse is remembered in her home place of Mourneabbey for her bright smile, her devotion to her family and her love of the farming community.
In the University of Limerick, Karen's former teachers and classmates recalled a young woman who revelled in helping to improve the quality of life for others.
"She was a beautiful young woman," UL course director Ann Fahy said.
"She will be remembered as a dedicated student and someone who wanted to make a difference in life."
The Buckleys' neighbour, Cliona Forde, spoke for the entire community when she said the heartache was still palpable in every corner of the parish.
"It is every parent's worst nightmare. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. It is so, so sad," she said.
Karen's friend, Claire Bowen, said Karen was so excited about her future career.
"She started her Masters in occupational therapy in January. She had been working as a nurse in Essex up until then."
Another friend, Julie Malone, who helped spearhead the social media appeal for information on the student's whereabouts last April, said those who knew Karen would never forget her.
Julie posted a collection of photos of Karen on social media as a special tribute to her murdered friend. She said Karen "enriched the lives of all who met her".
In the Hibernian Hotel in nearby Mallow, where Karen used to work, staff remember her as "the cailín Gaelach", the ever-smiling girl who never shied away from hard work.
The Buckley family, her father John (62) and mother Marian (61), operate a dairy farm which lies less than 2km from Analeentha Church, where Karen's funeral Mass was held.
Local priest Fr Joe O'Keeffe said the Mourneabbey and Analeentha communities were now doing their best to mirror the incredible support shown to the devastated Buckley family while they were in Glasgow.
"It is a very, very difficult time but people are doing everything they can to support the family and to ease their pain in whatever way possible," he said.