Friday 30 September 2016

'People are very, very worried for Karen. We will be praying for her'

Ralph Reigel in Karen's home community in Cork

Published 15/04/2015 | 06:31

The tightknit community of Mourneabbey is to stage a special prayer vigil for the safe recovery of missing student Karen Buckley (24).

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Community leaders in the north Cork village said they are heartbroken over the ordeal being endured by the Buckley family since Karen inexplicably vanished from a Glasgow nightclub on Saturday evening.

Karen's parents, John and Marion, who operate a farm in Mourneabbey, flew to Glasgow on Monday morning to support the search for their daughter.

Yesterday, Mourneabbey parish priest Fr Joe O'Keeffe said the thoughts and prayers of the entire community were now with the Buckley family.

"They are a highly respected and very well-liked family and everyone here is praying for Karen's safe recovery," he said.

"We are doing everything we can to support them as a parish and as a community."

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"People are very, very worried for Karen. There will be a special Mass for her."

Karen studied at St Mary's secondary school in Mallow before taking a nursing degree at the University of Limerick.

Karen then moved to Essex in England to work.

She was based at a hospital in Harlow.

Karen only moved to Scotland in January to prepare for her masters degree in occupational therapy at the Glasgow Caledonian University.

Karen is the youngest in the family with three older brothers, Kieran, Damian and Brendan.

Her former school, St Mary's, issued a statement of support. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time," principal Yvonne Bane said.

Her best friend Claire Bowen said Karen was excited about her career.

"She started her masters in occupational therapy in January. She had been working as a nurse in Essex (Harlow) up until then."

Karen, who is very close to her parents, loves travel and adored her time in England. She was looking forward to studying in Glasgow and being able to take in the main tourist sights around Scotland.

Like her family, Karen is a big GAA fan and she played ladies football locally.

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