The heartbroken family of murdered Cork nurse Karen Buckley have expressed their thanks to all those who supported them over the past 12 months.
The Mourneabbey family said they had received thousands of mass cards, flowers and wreaths from “all over Ireland, Scotland and beyond”.
Today marks the first anniversary of the discovery of Ms Buckley’s body in a farm at High Craigton, north of Glasgow. She was aged 24.
The parents of Karen Buckley, along with her extended family attended mass at Analeentha, Co Cork yesterday evening to remember the one year anniversary of her death.
She had been murdered by 21-year-old Alexander Pacteau, who pleaded guilty to killing Ms Buckley at the city’s High Court last August.
Around 200 parishioners attended the church mass, where Ms Buckley made her Holy Communion and Confirmation as well as where her requiem mass was held.
Fr Joe O’Keeffe described Karen as a “gentle soul” who touched the lives of everyone she met.
He went on to say that remembering Karen brought her into the present and he also called on those present to pray for her parents, John and Marian and “all those who mourn Karen”.
"It was a horrific and callous murder. Our Lord Jesus Christ passed from death to life. We are confident that our sister Karen who believed in Christ has done the same. In this hope we pray."
In an acknowledgement in today’s Irish Examiner, the Buckley family express their “sincere gratitude to the very many people who went out of their way to help and support us at the time of her death and ever since.
“It was, and continues to be, very much appreciated by all of us and our extended family,” the family said.
“We are indebted to the professionalism and great courtesy of the Scottish police and our own Garda Síochána for all the help we received in coping with the terrible tragedy; to the Scottish people who held a vigil for Karen in Glasgow and prayed with us,” the acknowledgement reads.
Neighbours, friends, and a number of organisations that assisted the family are also thanked.
“A special word of gratitude to our local priest, Fr Joe O’Keeffe, who has been a rock of support as well as a true friend throughout the trauma of the past year.
“To everybody who has shared our terrible loss please accept this acknowledgement of our profound gratitude,” the Buckleys said.
The weekly Friday Mass the family’s home church, St Michael the Archangel at Analeentha, outside Mallow, was dedicated to her memory last night.
It follows a private memorial service which was held by her friends and classmates from the School of Health and Life Sciences in Glasgow last Tuesday, a year to the day since she was murdered by Pacteau.
Ms Buckley was reported missing by her friends after she left them at the Sanctuary nightclub in Glasgow city centre and failed to return home.
Her disappearance sparked a massive search across Glasgow which eventually focussed on the area surrounding Pacteau’s Dorchester Avenue apartment after police used CCTV footage to trace the man seen leaving the area with Ms Buckley the night she disappeared.
Despite Pacteau’s original claims that Ms Buckley walked home from his apartment, forensic evidence eventually established that he had killed her in his car just moments after meeting her outside the Sanctuary nightclub.
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