A heartbroken Wexford family have welcomed their murdered daughter home from Japan, her pink coffin draped in the Irish tricolour.
Nicola Furlong’s remains arrived at the family home in the village of Curracloe on Thursday night as two Americans arrested for her murder await a possible death sentence in Tokyo.
The 21-year-old exchange student was due to return from the Far East in July.
Instead her family brought her coffin home from Dublin Airport via a Gorey funeral home on Thursday.
Neighbors and friends tried to console her parents as local curate Dr Jim Fitzpatrick received the body as hundreds lined the road leading to the Furlong household.
Her uncle Denis Corrigan spoke to the media as the body arrived.
“The family is in total shock, for on seeing the coffin the significance of what has happened has really hit home,” he said.
“We’ve had wonderful support from everyone which we so much appreciated. It’s been a difficult week and will be even more difficult over the coming days. We’re glad to have Nicola home with us.”
Nicola was found dead in a Tokyo hotel room after attending a Nicki Minaj concert with an Irish friend.
The rapper has since tweeted her support and sympathy for Nicola’s family after the tragedy which befell the two Irish girls.
They had missed the last train home to their dormitory, an hour from the Japanese capital, and were befriended at the train station by the two Americans.
Hotel workers went to one of the American’s room in the early hours of the morning after reports of a loud noise. They found Nicola dead and her friend in a serious condition.
The Irish Examiner reports that the two Americans have been charged with sexual offences against the other Wexford woman and are being questioned about Nicola’s death.