TRIBUTES have been paid to a Lisburn woman who was killed in a brutal assault in Romania last week. 54-year-old Jennifer Buchanan died after she was attacked at the home she where she had been staying in Bariad, Romania since December. The mother-of-two was a teacher at Glengormley High School. However, her family are originally from the Ballymacash area and she was a former pupil of Forthill HS and Friends' School in Lisburn.
Mrs Buchanan is thought to have left Northern Ireland in December after taking leave from her job as head of careers at the School. It is thought she had been on sick leave for the past 18 months.
The local woman was sharing a home with 46-year-old Doru Condurache, who has been arrested and questioned by police over her death.
It is believed she had met Mr Condurache two years ago when he was working in Dublin and he had persuaded her to go to his remote home town in recent months.
Mrs Buchanan's husband, Dr Ian Buchanan, said he and his daughters aged 22 and 18 were devastated by the news. Colleagues at Glengormley High School paid tribute to Mrs Buchanan, describing her as a "committed, caring teacher" and said staff and pupils have been left shocked by the news. In a statement the school said: "Mrs Jenny Buchanan was a valued member of staff for many years and had been head of careers since 1997. Jenny was a committed, caring teacher who had excellent relationships with pupils and colleagues."
They continued: "Although Mrs Buchanan was currently on longterm sick leave the school community is totally shocked by this tragic news."
Mrs Buchanan's Minister, the Rev Nigel Baylor of St Patrick's Church of Ireland, who is expected to conduct the funeral service when her body is returned to Northern Ireland, described her as a "dedicated mother and teacher".
Rev Baylor said: "The family are devastated by what is a terrible tragedy, and they want to give thanks for the person that Jenny was.
"She was a dedicated mother and teacher and, as prayers were said for the family at our church service on Sunday, there was a sense of disbelief in the congregation that this has happened.
"There has been tremendous support from Glengormley High School, and many past pupils have Jenny to thank for giving them career advice," Reverend Baylor added.
Mrs Buchanan's husband is a GP at the Castle medical practice in Carrickfergus.
Practice manager Samantha Bailey said staff were devastated by the news.
"Jenny was a much-loved and respected lady by all the partners and staff in the practice," she said. 'We all knew her well. We were shocked and upset to hear such tragic news."