Huge crowds spent over five hours yesterday paying their last respects to murdered student Karen Buckley as she lay in repose in Mallow before burial in her native Mourneabbey today.
An estimated 2,000 people came to sympathise with Ms Buckley’s parents, John and Marian and her brothers, Brendan, Kieran and Damian at O’Connell’s Funeral Home in Mallow.
The Buckleys arrived at the funeral home just before 3pm where their daughter's remains were due to lie in repose from 4pm until 8pm. But mourners were already beginning to gather from before 3pm so undertaker, Donal Attridge opened the home early to allow people sympathise with the grieving family.
Hundreds filed past photos of Ms Buckley when she made her First Holy Communion and when she graduated from University of Limerick before pausing to pray by the closed coffin.
All through the afternoon, there were never less than 100 people queuing outside the funeral home as a constant flow of sympathisers came to show their support for the Buckleys.
And there were poignant scenes inside the funeral home as mourners embraced the grieving family and remembered the 24 year old nurse murdered in Glasgow on April 12th.
The mourners included neighbours from Mourneabbey but many came from further afield including scores from Galbally in Co Limerick where Ms Buckley’s mother, Marian grew up.
Among those to pay respects early yesterday was the Buckleys' neighbour, Senator Paul Bradford and Fianna Fail Cork North Central TD, Billy Kelleher. Others who came to express their sympathies were local Minister of State and Labour TD, Sean Sherlock, Fine Gael Senator Colm Burke and Millstreet businessman, Noel C Duggan.
Among the many wreaths brought to the funeral home was one from the local GAA club, Clyda Rovers and Mourneabbey Ladies Football Club whom Ms Buckley supported.
At 8pm Ms Buckley’s former classmates from University of Limerick lined up to form a guard of honour along with pupils from Ms Buckley’s alma mater, St Mary’s in Mallow.
Today (Tuesday), the Buckley family will be joined by some of Ms Buckley's classmates from Glasgow Caledonian University where she was studying occupational therapy for her funeral mass at the church in Analeentha in Mourneabbey.
Locals expect the Church of St Michael the Archangel in Analeentha with a capacity of just 300 to be full to overflowing and a marquee has been erected to cater for the overflow.
Among those due to attend is Glasgow Caledonian University Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof Karen Stanton who met the Buckleys when they visited the university to meet her classmates.
Police Scotland who investigated Ms Buckley's disappearance and murder are also due to send officers to the funeral mass which will be celebrated by local priest, Fr Joe O'Keeffe.
Ms Buckley’s remains will then be brought to St John’s Cemetery in Burnfort, also in Mourneabbey, where she will be laid to reside beside her grandparents, Patrick and Hannah.
21-year-old Alexander Pacteau from Glasgow has been remanded in custody charged with Ms Buckley’s murder.