Wednesday 21 August 2019

'Angels' exhibition to commemorate murdered nurse Karen Buckley

Karen Buckley was killed by Alexander Pacteau (Scotland's Crown Office/PA)
Karen Buckley was killed by Alexander Pacteau (Scotland's Crown Office/PA)

Ralph Riegel

MURDERED Irish nurse Karen Buckley will be commemorated with a special Angels for Karen exhibition aimed at highlighting violence against women.

The exhibition in a Limerick library will be staged just days after killer Alexander Pacteau (21) challenges the severity of the life sentence he was handed for the horrific murder of the 24-year-old Cork student in Scotland last April.

Pacteau was labelled "an evil, cowardly murderer" by Karen's parents, John and Marion, after he pleaded guilty to bludgeoning her to death in Glasgow.

He received a life sentence last September, with a minimum term of 23 years for the brutal killing of the student from Mourneabbey, Co Cork.

Pacteau's appeal against the severity of that sentence will now be heard on Friday.

Friends of the Buckley family want Karen's legacy to be a rejection of all violence against women. Kilmallock Library in Limerick will commemorate her on December 9 with the special exhibition.

The event is a key part of an international campaign entitled Sixteen Days of Action Opposing Violence Against Women.

Special clay angels are being hand-made and these will form a central part of the exhibit.

While Karen hailed from Mourneabbey in north Cork, her mother's family came from Limerick. Karen's maternal aunt, Eileen Hurley, is a member of the Kilmallock Women's Group, and other volunteers wanted to do something both to commemorate Karen and show their support for the campaign.

Kilmallock community support director, Margaret O'Connor, said there was overwhelming support for the campaign and solidarity with the Buckley family.

"Eileen kept coming to the group (after Karen's death)," she explained. "She is very open and talked about Karen. We didn't know Karen but we felt like we did. Her death had a different effect on each of the members here."


The Angels for Karen exhibit was only agreed once the Kilmallock group had received the go-ahead from Karen's parents.

The couple, who operate a dairy farm in Mourneabbey, are said to be heartbroken at the prospect of spending their first Christmas without their beloved daughter - and by her killer's bid to secure a lighter sentence.

During the murder case Justice Lady Rae told Glasgow High Court that Pacteau was "callous and calculating" and had shown little or no remorse for the vicious murder. One social services report noted that not once did he utter the phrases "sorry", "remorse" or "regret' when talking about Karen.

Pacteau bludgeoned Karen to death just minutes after she left The Sanctuary nightclub on Dumbarton Road at 1am on April 12.

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