Irish in Glasgow lead tributes to Karen Buckley as candlelight vigil takes place in the city

Irish in Glasgow lead tributes to Karen Buckley as candlelight vigil takes place in the city

THE Irish in Glasgow are among those leading tributes to Cork student Karen Buckley.

From five o’clock this evening, hundreds are expected to attend a candlelight vigil in George Square in the city centre, in memory of the tragic Cork woman.

The 24-year-old occupational therapy student from Glasgow Caledonian University,  who had previously worked as a nurse in Princess Alexandra Hospital in Essex, went missing after a night out with friends last Sunday.

Her body was found on High Craigton farm six miles north of Glasgow on Wednesday.

A number of Irish groups will be among those attending the vigil.

“It has just rocked Glasgow,” said Isabelle Gray, development manager with the Irish Heritage Foundation in the Govanhill area of the city. “People have been calling in and asking what they can do to support us.”

The Foundation, along with other groups in the city such as Comhaltas, is now planning to open a book of condolences for members of the public to sign.

“We are trying to decide where the best place to put a book would be,” Ms Gray said. “We want it somewhere central for everyone to be able to leave their messages. There are so many people coming in to us so it would give them an outlet."

She added: “It shows the effect it has had on the community – everyone is saying how upset they are and they have been coming in all week looking for updates. It’s just terrible.”

St Andrew’s Cathedral on Dunlop Street, near where Miss Buckley had been living, will offer its 10am mass on Sunday in memory of the student.

Karen's father John Buckley spoke of his daughter’s love for life in a statement released yesterday.

“She was an outgoing girl who travelled the world where she met lots of people and thoroughly enjoyed her life,” the father-of-four said of his only daughter. “We will miss her terribly.”

Tributes have also been pouring in for the Irish woman on an online fundraising page, where £50,000 has been raised to help the Buckley family.

People from  across Britain and Ireland have expressed their sympathies.

One woman, Louise Bailes, said: “We tried to donate after realising that Karen was the nurse who looked after my husband, when he had surgery last September. May her parents find comfort in knowing what a wonderful, caring, brilliant nurse she was.”

Alexander Pacteau, 21 and from Glasgow, appeared before Glasgow Sheriff Court today charged with the murder of Karen Buckley and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

He will appear before court next week for a further hearing.