The family of student nurse Karen Buckley who was murdered in Glasgow have spoken of their deep gratitude for the outpouring of sympathy and support they received since her disappearance and death.
Mass cards and letters have been sent from all over the world and still arrive at the family home in Mourneabbey, Co Cork, where Karen's parents John and Marion continue to come to terms with the loss of their only daughter.
"What happened to Karen is terrible, it's hard to believe or understand," said Mr Buckley.
"To be deprived of being able to see, touch or kiss our beloved daughter and sister for one last time is something that remains profoundly upsetting for us as parents and her three brothers, Brendan, Kieran, and Damian.
"We are extremely upset that Karen will never have the chance to live out her life, travel more, and pursue her career in occupational therapy. That maybe someday she could have a family of her own and enjoy a happy and eventful life, which is what she would have wanted.
"We are still in shock and disbelief and it sometimes feels like all of this isn't real," he added. "We are very grateful for all the support and messages of sympathy we have received from so many people from all over Ireland and Scotland. People have even written to us from America and South Africa."
The family said they want to express their gratitude and appreciation for the help, assistance, and generosity they received throughout the horror of Karen's disappearance from outside the Sanctuary nightclub in Glasgow on April 12, the high-profile and intensive search for her which made international headlines, and the eventual discovery of her body four days later.
Alexander Pacteau (21) has been charged with Karen's murder.
The shock of her death prompted an outpouring of sympathy for the Buckley family who flew to Scotland the day after Karen went missing to join the search.
Among the spontaneous gestures of support and kindness was the establishment of a special fund by Karen's friends and former nursing colleagues at the University of Limerick.
They aimed to raise €5,000 to go towards the expenses incurred by the Buckley family while they were in Scotland but within a day people had donated €50,000 and it rose to €70,000 before it was closed.