Thursday 29 September 2016

Special flight to bring Karen home

Aer Lingus steps forward to cover cost of transporting the slain student's remains back to Cork

Published 26/04/2015 | 02:30

Karen Buckley
Karen Buckley

AER Lingus Regional-Stobart Air is providing a special flight to bring the remains of slain student Karen Buckley from Scotland back to Ireland today.

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Karen's body will be flown to her native Cork this afternoon after it was released to her heartbroken parents, John (62) and Marian (61), following the conclusion of a second post mortem examination in Glasgow on Friday.

In a gesture of support, the airline has provided a special plane and is understood to be footing the bulk of the repatriation costs for the grieving family.

Under Scottish law, the man accused of Karen's murder, Alexander Pacteau (21), had the right to request a second post mortem by an independent pathologist.

Scottish authorities could not release Karen's remains until the situation over the second post mortem was clarified. A death certificate issued in Scotland has revealed Karen died from head and neck injuries.

Pacteau, a courier firm operator, is charged with the 24-year-old nurse's murder on April 12 and is also charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

It is alleged the murder was carried out at a flat in the Dorchester Avenue area of Glasgow.

Pacteau appeared before a court hearing on Friday which was not open to the public. Sheriff Kenneth Hogg remanded Pacteau in ongoing custody after the committal hearing. No formal plea has been entered so far by the defendant and no date was specified for his third court appearance.

Karen's body was discovered on an isolated hill farm north of Glasgow on April 15 after a massive search operation was launched when she vanished from The Sanctuary nightclub at 1am on April 12.

Her body was found concealed in a storage shed.

Karen's body is now expected at Cork Airport this afternoon and it will then be taken to her Glynn farmhouse home in Mourneabbey for private family prayers.

Members of the Buckley family will accompany Karen's coffin on the transfer from Scotland to Cork Airport, supported by Mourneabbey parish priest Fr Joe O'Keeffe.

Karen's remains will then be taken to O'Connell's Funeral Home on St James' Avenue, Mallow, where her removal will take place from 4pm to 8pm tomorrow.

She will be removed to the Church of St Michael the Archangel in Analeentha for 2pm Requiem Mass on Tuesday.

Fr O'Keeffe, who comforted the Buckley family last night, said "a darkness" has fallen over the community. But he vowed that the parish and community "will not be found wanting" in terms of support and solidarity for the heartbroken family.

Mallow gardai have a detailed logistical plan in place to cope with the huge numbers now expected to flock to the tightknit north Cork farming community to show their solidarity with John and Marian Buckley and their sons, Brendan (32), Kieran (28) and Damien (27).

Mourners are also expected from Scotland to show Glasgow's solidarity with the family.

A special one-way traffic system will be put in place while hundreds of traffic, parking and support volunteers have been offered by Mourneabbey Community Council, Clyda Rovers GAA and Mourneabbey Ladies FC.

The Church of St Michael the Archangel at Analeentha has a capacity of just 300. It is the church where Karen made her Holy Communion and Confirmation.

The church is also located just metres from Analeentha primary school, where Karen was a student until 2003.

Karen will be buried in St John's Cemetery in Burnfort.

Sunday Independent

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