Thursday 27 October 2016

Family of murdered teen Manuela Riedo 'touched' by boat-naming honour

Manuela Riedo
Manuela Riedo

The eighth anniversary of the death of murdered Swiss teen Manuela Riedo will be marked by unveiling a boat named in her honour.

Manuela Riedo had only been in Galway three days when she was killed on October 8, 2007.

The city council voted unanimously in September to rename a restored Galway Hooker (a traditional fishing boat) from 'Fiona' to 'Manuela' to honour the late teen.

Mayor of Galway Frank Fahy  said the renaming of the boat was a statement of support for all victims of sexual abuse and a permanent reminder that violence against women is unacceptable.

The restoration of the boat was carried out by Badoiri an Cladaig. Peter Connolly, project manager, said it "would be an iconic symbol of remembrance to name after Manuela, a fitting living legacy that would be here for generations to come".

Shane Lennon, volunteer and director of the Manuela Riedo Foundation Ireland (MRFI) said "the Riedo's were very touched by the gesture".

The MRFI was set up in Manuela's memory to raise awareness and provide funding to professional agencies all over Ireland that help victims and survivors of sexual crime. Since 2009, the foundation has raised nearly €200,000.

"Galway City should be applauded for this. It shows what [Manuela's] name has come to signify in the city… where her memory burns brightest," Mr Lennon said.

The foundation will be hosting its annual Gala Ball this weekend in Galway and is set to also hold a national conference during the week, which will see personnel from all 16 Rape Crisis Centres in Ireland attending.

The foundation will also hold its annual balloon-release in Manuela's memory tomorrow.

The unveiling of the Galway Hooker dedicated to the late teen will take place on Saturday at the Gala Ball in the Ardilaun Hotel.

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