Body of student killed in Tokyo brought home to family in Curracloe

Fri, Jun 1, 2012, 01:00

THE BODY of Wexford woman Nicola Furlong (21) was brought back to Ireland yesterday, a week after she was fatally injured in a Tokyo hotel room hours after she had attended a concert.

The body of the Dublin City University student arrived into Dublin airport on a flight from Japan yesterday morning and were taken by hearse to a funeral home in Gorey, Co Wexford.

She had attended a concert by the pop star Nicky Minaj with another young female friend hours before her death.

Yesterday the performer expressed condolences to the Furlong family in a message on Twitter.

“Saddened to learn one of my precious fans found tragically murdered in Japan. My love and prayers are with the family of Nicola Furlong.”

Minaj added that “no one in my entourage was questioned or arrested” and she did not know the men in custody.

In Dublin there were moving scenes as her casket, draped in the Irish flag, was met at the airport by members of the Furlong family.

Ms Furlong had been on a one-year study programme at the Takasaki City University of Economics in Gunma prefecture, about an hour from Tokyo. She was due to return home in July to start a summer job in Wexford.

Japanese police are holding two American men on suspicion of drugging and strangling her.

Nicola and her friend, a fellow DCU student who is also from Wexford, met the two men after the Minaj concert in Tokyo last Wednesday night.

Her family are now preparing to bury Nicola this weekend in the seaside village of Curracloe, where she grew up.

Her body was brought from Gorey to Curracloe yesterday evening to lie at the family home in the centre of the village.

She is survived by her parents Andrew and Angie, her sister Andrea (19) and her stepsister Hannah; her paternal grandmother Eileen; her maternal grandparents Jim and Rose Doyle; and her boyfriend Danny Furlong, a soccer player with Wexford Youths.

The second victim of the assault is being comforted by her mother, who flew to Tokyo from Dublin this week.

They are due to return home shortly for Nicola’s funeral.

A source close to the family says the woman, also from Co Wexford, remembers little about the attack.

As the key witness, she will almost certainly be asked to return to Japan to testify if the trial against the two Americans goes ahead.