The family of Karen Buckley say they are “absolutely heartbroken” after remains found on farmland outside Glasgow were confirmed to be that of the missing student.
Her father John Buckley, 62, said the 24-year-old from Cork was an outgoing girl who “thoroughly enjoyed life”.
Police Scotland confirmed that human remains discovered by officers investigating the disappearance of Miss Buckley were that of the student.
She vanished after a night out at Glasgow’s Sanctuary nightclub, sparking a major hunt.
On Wednesday an area around High Craigton Farm on the north-western outskirts of the city was cordoned off and a 21-year-old man was detained and arrested.
He is expected to be charged in connection with Miss Buckley’s death at a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Friday.
In a statement read by Detective Superintendent Jim Kerr, Mr Buckley said: “Marian and I, together with our sons Brendan, Kieran, and Damian are absolutely heartbroken.
“Karen was our only daughter, cherished by her family and loved by her friends.
“She was an outgoing girl who travelled the world, where she met lots of people and thoroughly enjoyed her life.
“We will miss her terribly.”
Det Supt Kerr said: “We cannot imagine the pain and suffering of Karen’s family and friends and all our thoughts are with them at this very sad and distressing time.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the public and the communities both here and in Ireland for their significant assistance during this investigation. It was very, very helpful.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the news media for their sustained effort and support throughout this inquiry.”
Friends raised the alarm on Sunday morning after the 24-year-old failed to return from the night out.
A four-day search, including specialist police divers, a helicopter crew and search dogs, led officers to High Craigton Farm on the north-western outskirts of Glasgow where human remains were recovered.
Ms Buckley moved to Scotland in February and was a first-year occupational therapy student at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: ‘’My thoughts today are very much with the family and friends of Karen Buckley.’’
As police continue inquiries, donations have poured into a fund set up by the 24-year-old’s former nursing classmates from Limerick University.
The 24-hour appeal has so far received pledges of more than £47,000 to assist Miss Buckley’s family, who travelled to Scotland from Cork when their daughter was reported missing.
The fund, which closes at 9.30pm on Thursday, can be found at: http://www.gofundme.com/s3k8ry2jg.