Small comfort - Pacteau guilty plea

EVEN in a world that seems ever more callous, ever more brutal and indifferent to the sensibilities we all hope might protect us from the worst excesses of humanity, especially humanity informed by evil, the Glasgow murder of Karen Buckley, a 24-year-old nurse from Mourneabbey, Co Cork, stands out.

Small comfort - Pacteau guilty plea

She was murdered by a man she did not know, Alexander Pacteau, 21, just 20 minutes after they met by chance outside a nightclub last April. The crime outraged Glasgow but caused great heartbreak in the community that knew Karen and respected her family. Pacteau pleaded guilty to the murder yesterday and though it is of little comfort to Karen’s family, they have been spared the ordeal of a graphic trial.

There is much about life and death that remains a mystery and it is very difficult to see the purpose in a tragedy like this, one of many that challenge families every day. We seem powerless to change events but we can remember Karen and other murder victims in a way that honours them and, hopefully, gives some small comfort to their families.

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