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Silent candlelit vigil for Karen

By Adam Cullen in Glasgow

Published 18/04/2015

Karen Buckley was a first-year occupational therapy student at Glasgow Caledonian University (PA/Police Scotland)
Karen Buckley was a first-year occupational therapy student at Glasgow Caledonian University (PA/Police Scotland)
Marian and John Buckley, the parents of Karen Buckley, 24, at a vigil for their daughter in Glasgow
People place flowers and candles during a vigil in Glasgow for Karen Buckley

A silent vigil has been held by neighbours of Karen Buckley close to where the Irish student lived.

Residents of the Garnethill area of Glasgow gathered to remember the 24-year-old, whose body was found at a farm north of the city four days after she went missing on a night out.

Around 120 people attended the vigil where they lit 1,000 candles which were arranged to make a Celtic symbol.

Organiser Jane Sutherland, chairwoman of the community council, said: " It's a wee close-knit community up here, although it's quite a transient population with the students, it's a small community and the news of this young girl going out on a Saturday night and then never coming back is just unbearably sad.

"This is just a moment for the neighbourhood to come together. Since she went missing nobody has talked of anything else.

"Words fail me - that's why we wanted to do a wee silent candlelit vigil - 1,000 points of light for the one point of light that went out."

She added: "I did not personally have the pleasure of knowing Karen but I know folks who knew her. Our profound condolences are with her mum and dad, her brothers and extended family."

A major police search was launched when the Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) student vanished after a night out last Saturday. Her body was found at High Craigton Farm on the north-western outskirts of the city following a four-day search.

Alexander Pacteau has appeared in court charged with Miss Buckley's murder. The 21-year-old is also accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice. He made no plea during a private hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday and was remanded in custody.

Tonight's memorial event, held in a park off Hill Street where Miss Buckley was living, follows a vigil held in the city's George Square yesterday evening which around 300 people attended.

Flowers, candles, cards and messages were laid out in the square and a piper played. A minute of silence was held and Miss Buckley's family later arrived to look at the tributes that had been left.

Marian Buckley hugged husband John as they read messages of sorrow and support for the family.

The university where Miss Buckley was studying occupational health was well represented, with many young people in attendance wearing GCU tracksuits and jumpers.

Flowers and messages have also been left at the GCU campus and at the entrance to High Craigton Farm.

The outpouring of support for the family has also raised £50,000 in an online drive organised by her former classmates at Limerick University.

The Go Fund Me page was set up to cover the family's travel and expenses while in Scotland and to support the upkeep of their farm in Cork. It raised more than 10 times the original target amount.

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