Nicola’s mother Angie buried her face in her hands. Nearby her father, Andrew, was a broken man.
Other family members stood in complete shock and clutched each other. As rain pelted down, the family prepared for a long journey to the funeral home in Gorey, Co Wexford.
DCU student Nicola couldn’t wait to finish her year abroad in a Japanese university so she could come home.
Andrew had listened to his daughter chatting excitedly on Skype just a few short days ago. She was going to cook him his favorite spaghetti bolognese soon.
She had told him about how she scaled Mount Fuji and braved the biggest rollercoaster in the world.
While Nicola had made lots of friends, her dad knew she missed Curracloe, the seaside village where she grew up.
The 21-year-old from Curracloe, Co Wexford, was killed after she and a friend had attended a concert in the Japanese capital last week.
She had been in Japan as an exchange student from Dublin City University and had been due to return home in July.
Two US men – 26-year-old James Blackston and an unnamed 19-year-old – are being held for questioning by Tokyo police in connection with Ms Furlong’s death.