Glasgow Vigil For Karen Buckley

17 April 2015, 18:43 | Updated: 17 April 2015, 19:04

Family, friends and colleagues of Karen Buckley have joined hundreds of mourners at a vigil for the Irish student in Glasgow city centre.

The George Square memorial was organised to show support for the family of the 24-year-old who was found dead on a farm on Wednesday after a four-day police search for her.

Around 300 people attended, with many bringing flowers and candles to lay in the square. Cards and messages were also left, with people expressing their grief.

A piper played as mourners laid flowers and others sang Scottish and Irish songs before a minute's silence was held.

Towards the end of the vigil, Miss Buckley's parents and two of her brothers arrived in George Square and looked at the tributes.

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

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) - where Miss Buckley was studying occupational health - was well represented, with many young people in attendance wearing GCU tracksuits and jumpers.

The vigil was organised by former Scottish Socialist politician Rosie Kane.

She said: ''I don't want to be here, that's the first thing I need to say.

"It seems that everyone has been devastated but we want to support Karen's family and show them the best side of the city. We're trying to make something beautiful from that horrible, horrible grief.

"There have been some songs from Scotland and Ireland and people have brought flowers and candles.

"We also had a moment's silence to think about Karen's life, what we knew of her, about her family and to wish them the best.''

The case has touched many people in Scotland and Ireland, with services held in Miss Buckley's home town of Cork earlier this week.

Barry Ahearn, who is originally from Cork but now lives in Scotland, travelled from his home in Ayr to pay his respects to Miss Buckley in George Square.

As organisers appealed for anyone who wanted to address the large crowd, Mr Ahearn sang a local Cork song.

He said: "I've been living in Scotland for the last four years and wanted to come today to show solidarity and support for Karen's family.

"I sang On The Banks On My Own Lovely Lee - it's the river that runs through Cork and is the local anthem.

"The whole situation is so sad, particularly when you're living in Scotland and something like this happens to someone from your own country. It just doesn't fit, it's so sad.''

His wife Maura said: "It has really touched us this week, it's so sad and we all feel it very much.

"There's a great number of people here tonight who I'm sure feel the same and we just want to rally round the Buckley family.''

Flowers and messages have also been left at the GCU campus and at the entrance to High Craigton Farm, to the north of Glasgow, where the student's body was found.

Politicians took time out of campaigning earlier today to offer their condolences to the Buckley family.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: ''My thoughts are very much with the family and friends of Karen Buckley.''

Jim Murphy began Labour's Scottish manifesto launch in Glasgow by saying: "My thoughts and the thoughts of everyone in the room go out to Karen's family. None of us can in anyway imagine the pain and horror that they are going through.

"Glasgow and Scotland stands with you.''