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Home town unites in prayer for missing student's safe return


The Sanctuary nightclub

The Sanctuary nightclub

The Sanctuary nightclub

Locals in Mourneabbey, Cork, will stage a special prayer vigil for the safe return home of missing Karen Buckley.

The community has rallied around the Buckley family after their only girl Karen (24) disappeared after socialising with pals in a Glasgow nightclub on Saturday evening.

Karen's parents, John (62) and Marion (62), who operate a farm in Mourneabbey, north Cork, flew to Glasgow on Monday morning after consulting with Scottish detectives.

Yesterday, Mourneabbey parish priest, Fr Joe O'Keeffe, said the thoughts and prayers of the entire community are 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.

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

Prayers for Karen's safe return were also offered yesterday at the ordinary Mass at Burnfort, the closest church to her family home, and at churches in Mallow.

Karen is the youngest in the family with three older brothers, Brendan (32) Kieran (28), and Damian (27).

Kieran is based in Australia and flew to Scotland yesterday.

"They're lovely people and we're doing everything we can to help. We are all very worried and praying for good news," one neighbour told the Herald.

Karen attended St Mary's secondary school in Mallow before studying nursing at the University of Limerick.

She then moved to Essex in England to work as a nurse.

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

She worked as a nurse at Princess Alexandria Hospital in Harlow, Essex.

Karen's old school, St Mary's, issued a statement of support.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time," principal Yvonne Bane said.

Karen, like her entire family, is involved in the GAA. Both Clyda Rovers and Mourneabbey ladies club have backed the Facebook appeal for information on Karen's whereabouts.

Karen's best friend, Claire Bowen, said she was excited about her future career.

"She started her Masters in occupational therapy in January," Claire said.

"She had been working as a nurse in Essex (Harlow) up until then.

"Karen, who is very close to her parents, loved travel and adored her time in England," she added.