Fears are growing for the safety of a Cork college student who has been missing in Scotland since Sunday.
The parents of Karen Buckley, from Mourneabbey, have flown to Glasgow to join the search for the student, who was last seen speaking to a man outside a city centre nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The 24-year-old had arrived at the Sanctuary nightclub at around 11.45pm last Saturday and had told friends that she was going to the bathroom but never returned or collected her jacket.
Her failure to rejoin her friends or inform them of her whereabouts has been described as “very unusual”.
Police in Glasgow said that CCTV footage outside Sanctuary nightclub shows the Mallow woman talking to a man before she was then seen walking westwards along Dumbarton Rd away from Glasgow city centre towards Church St. They said that they are keen to speak to this man.
The University of Limerick nursing graduate is described as white, around 155cm to 160cm tall (5ft 1/3in), with dark hair with long curly extensions, and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing an all-in-one black jumpsuit with red high heels and a black handbag.
Karen is studying for a masters in occupational therapy in Glasgow Caledonian University and lives with three student friends in a flat in Hill St, approximately 2.5km east of the nightclub where she was last seen.
Inspector Gavin Smith of Glasgow Police said that Karen’s friends said that her failure to return home was “very out of character”.
“Her friends say that she would always contact them by text or phone to let them know where she was and she doesn’t appear to have contacted anyone,” said Insp Smith.
“We are interested in speaking to anyone who may have seen Karen in the early hours of Sunday morning in the west end of Glasgow in order to help with our enquiries to locate her.
“We’re particularly keen to get in touch with the gentlemen who Karen was seen talking to around 1am on Sunday morning outside the Sanctuary Nightclub as he may be able to help us.”
The man seen on CCTV was described as being of stocky build and wearing a white shirt and dark trousers.
“Karen had been drinking alcohol with her friends but they say she was not drunk and are very worried about her,” said Insp Smith. “Her parents have also flown over from Ireland as they believe this behaviour is very unusual and not like Karen at all.”
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Inspector Alan Bowater said that the police have deployed a large number of officers and a helicopter in their search for the missing student.
A social media campaign was launched following her disappearance.
Senator Paul Bradford, who was born and bred in Mourneabbey, said: “They are a highly respected family. All the thoughts and prayers of the entire community are with them at this difficult time.”
Meanwhile, senior Garda sources have confirmed that Scottish Police were liaising with them as part of their investigation through Interpol, the Missing Persons Bureau and local gardaí based in Mallow and Cork.