The 24-year-old qualified nurse, who was studying occupational therapy in the city, had been missing since the early hours of Sunday.
Greater Glasgow Police Division’s Facebook page was inundated with hundreds of messages from members of the public expressing shock and heartbreak at the tragedy which has gripped the city for the past week. Some of the messages included:
- “Glasgow is grieving for her as the loving city that we are and though most of us never met Karen, we feel her loss very much.”
- “[Karen] was a guest in our city and will never go home. Well done to Police Scotland for fast, efficient policing. My heart is breaking.”
- “As a nurse Karen helped so many people. It’s a very sad day in Ireland. The police work was brilliant. Thank you to them.”
In a statement, the University of Limerick (UL) and the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, where Karen trained to be a nurse, expressed their sorrow at the loss of a “valued” member of the UL community.
“Karen was a very valued member of the UL community as well as the wider nursing and medical communities in Limerick, having spent time working in both the University Hospital Limerick and the University Maternity Hospital.
“The thoughts of the entire UL community are with her parents and family and her wide circle of friends as well as her UL classmates and medical colleagues.”
Ms Buckley had moved to Scotland in February and was a first-year occupational therapy student at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). She had previously worked at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex.
GCU said students and staff were thinking of Ms Buckley’s family.
“The GCU community is deeply saddened by the recent police reports in the media regarding Karen Buckley. Our thoughts are with Karen’s family, friends, and classmates at this very difficult time,” it said in a statement.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation also extended its sympathy to the family, friends, and nursing colleagues of Ms Buckley.
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said he was “greatly saddened” that the remains found were that of Ms Buckley.
“All of our thoughts and prayers are with Karen’s parents, John and Marian, and with all of her family and friends at this tragic time. On behalf of the Government, I wish to express appreciation for all that has been done by the Scottish authorities, and especially Police Scotland in Glasgow, to find Karen and to support the Buckley family throughout this very difficult time,” he said.
Tánaiste Joan Burton led tributes in the Dáil as TDs expressed shock at the death.
Ms Burton said her thoughts were with Karen’s parents John and Marian, and her siblings.
My thoughts are with the parents and family of Karen Buckley at this incredibly difficult time for them.— Joan Burton (@joanburton) April 16, 2015
“It’s every parent’s nightmare what has unfolded in the past few days,” she said.
Fianna Fáil’s Éamon Ó Cuív said that he wanted the family to know that TDs were thinking of them “at this horrific time”.
Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald also expressed sympathy for the family, while deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness described the loss as “heartbreakingly sad”.
Thoughts with the Buckley family this morning.— Mary Lou McDonald (@MaryLouMcDonald) April 16, 2015
“Very sad news this morning that Scottish Police in their search for Cork student Karen Buckley have found a body. Heartbreakingly sad,” he tweeted yesterday.