Amid heartbreaking scenes in her native Mourneabbey, near Mallow, Co Cork, the student’s brothers placed a photograph of her as a child starting school, as well as her nurse uniform, by her coffin.
Parish priest Fr Joe O’Keeffe told mourners, led by her parents John, 62, and Marian, 61, and brothers Brendan, 32, Kieran, 28, and Damien, 27, that now was a time of tears. Ms Buckley’s local parish church, which holds 300 people, wasn’t big enough for the crowds that turned out to bid her a final farewell, including those who had travelled from Scotland.
A loudspeaker had to be put up so those who gathered outside could hear the service. A large marquee set up on the church grounds was also packed out.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny was represented at the funeral, while a junior government minister, Darragh Murphy and the Lord Mayor of Cork Mary Shields also turned out to pay their respects.
A number of officers from Police Scotland attended to represent the force.
A qualified nurse, Karen was studying at Glasgow Caledonian University for a masters degree in occupational health therapy when she went missing after a night out in the city on April 12.
Her body was found at a farm north of the city four days later and Alexander Pacteau was arrested and charged with her murder.
Her funeral service was marked by contributions from many cousins and friends who remembered her as a “gentle soul” whose life revolved around family, friends and goodness.
“Karen touched the lives of all of us in a very special way and she was an example to us all,” said a friend Julie Malone. Prayers were also offered for the emergency services, police and fire service. As well as hymns by the local church choirs, there was also a version of Celtic Woman song Goodnight, My Angel.
Thousands had gathered in Mallow on Monday to pay their respects.
Pupils from her former school St Mary’s and former nursing classmates from the University of Limerick formed guards of honour. Ms Buckley’s remains had been flown back to Ireland from Scotland on a special flight on Sunday.
Earlier this month, about 300 people attended a vigil in Glasgow’s George Square for the student.