independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Friend has little memory of night Nicola Furlong was killed

Student pal will return for funeral

Nicola Furlong and her boyfriend Danny Furlong

THE Irish girl who was with Nicola Furlong on the night she was killed in Tokyo, Japan, has little memory of what happened, the Irish Independent has learned.

Ms Furlong (21) was found dead in a Tokyo hotel room hours after attending a concert with her friend last week.



Two Americans -- James Blackston (23) and an unnamed 19-year-old musician -- have been arrested by police and charged with assaulting her friend.



The young woman -- who was also studying in Japan with Ms Furlong -- has been helping the Japanese police with their investigation.



In an interview with the Irish Independent, Ms Furlong's father, Andrew, said the Japanese authorities had to be persuaded to allow the friend return home to Ireland to attend his daughter's funeral.



The young woman has had trouble recalling much of the events of the night and may have to return to Japan as the investigation continues.



"There were thoughts that they (the girl and her mother) might not be able to get out but they are allowing her out because her best friend is being buried and she would like to be at the funeral," Mr Furlong said.



"It could have been her just the same as it was Nicola; she was there when whatever happened, happened. She is just happy to be coming home.



"She probably witnessed (much of what happened) but she can't remember it for some reason.



HUG



"They are trying to get everything they can before they let her home and she may have to go back, we don't know.



"I will be talking to her and I will give her a big, massive hug."



Mr Furlong explained that his daughter's remains will arrive home today and that the family will then decide on when to bury her in her native Curracloe, Co Wexford.



There will be a guard of honour for the popular DCU student who was one year from completing her business and languages degree.



Her family have selected a number of personal songs to play but are keeping it to themselves ahead of the service.



"They are giving us time to get over this first and the next step is to liaise with (the police) over in Japan," said Mr Furlong who praised the Irish embassy for its ongoing assistance.



The family is already preparing themselves for whatever details might emerge should anyone be charged with Ms Furlong's murder.



"When the trial comes along I will be out there with a few of my friends and I have no doubt that a lot of things will be said as it is with Michaela Harte.



"We are expecting to hear all sorts of things but we want to get over the funeral first before we get into that."



Mr Furlong said he last spoke to his daughter on the day before the concert by American rapper Nicki Minaj.



"She joked that next time we saw her would be in the papers drinking champagne with Nicki Minaj; she didn't know that the next time we would see her it would be in the papers as a victim."

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