Tuesday 12 December 2017

Eilis O'Hanlon: Karen shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old

Evil exists, and it was one young Irishwoman's tragedy that it set its sights on her that Saturday night, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Karen Buckley
Karen Buckley
Alexander Pacteau
Alexander Pacteau outside The Sanctuary Nightclub
High Craigtown farm

Eilis O'Hanlon

Karen Buckley's ultimate epitaph will be the same as that in the ode for fallen soldiers of the First World War: "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old/Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn."

That's the only consolation for the University of Limerick student's loved ones, who saw their daughter, sister, friend, leave for Glasgow to take a postgraduate degree, without knowing that she wouldn't be coming home again, at least not in the way they expected.

It's the randomness of murder which alwa ys shocks. On the night of Saturday April 11, Alexander Pacteau and his friends booked two taxis to bring them to the Sanctuary nightclub; only one turned up, so he took his car instead. Had he gone by taxi, her killer wouldn't have been able to offer Karen a lift later. She might still be alive. All that can be said for sure is that, less than 15 minutes after getting into his car that night, the trusting 24-year-old from Mourneabbey in Co Cork had been bludgeoned to death with a spanner.

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