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Murder victim Ana’s paintings and poetry in new art exhibition

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Murder victim Ana Kriegel

Murder victim Ana Kriegel

Murder victim Ana Kriegel

Two beautiful paintings by tragic Ana Kriegel and a poem she wrote months before she was murdered feature in an online art exhibition.

The 14-year-old's work is among artworks loaned to the Stay With Me exhibition by families who have lost children in high-profile tragedies.

Filmed during the coronavirus lockdown, the online art show was created to show support for Mother and Baby Homes survivors in Tuam, Co Galway, as they await the final report by a Commission of Inquiry.

Ana's poem is called Recycling and reveals the smartness and innocence of the teenager just months before she was murdered in May 2018.

In it, she praises the benefits of recycling in a witty way.

"Now they call me 'Ms Recycle' because I love to split my trash. Can we save the Earth this way? Let's give it a bash!" the poem reads.

The exhibition also features two paintings Ana completed when she was aged 10 and 12. She entered her painting of a lilium regale flower in a calendar contest.

Her drawing was selected to represent the month of June. A butterfly she painted for May was done when she was just 10.

The items were loaned to the exhibition by Ana's heartbroken parents, Geraldine and Patric.

Her paintings and the poem are part of a virtual art exhibition due to be screened on social media this evening.

It features works lent by the families of tragic children including Eoghan (10) and Ruairi (5) Chada, and Estlin Wall (3).

Kathleen Chada, whose sons Eoghan and Ruairi were murdered by their father Sanjeev Chada seven years ago today in July 2013, and whose artwork will appear in the exhibition, has advocated for the "voice of the child" even after death.

"It is poignant for me because the July 29 is the boys' anniversary. There is something very unique about losing a child: you're almost trying to live their life for them, the life that they don't have any more," she said.

Exist

"I want Eoghan and Ruairi to have more than their 10 and five years on this Earth. They didn't have to die.

"That's why it is important for me to be their voice and the show will help with this. These children cannot be forgotten, no child should.

"You want your child to exist. They need to be heard and need to be seen in a way.

"It's very easy for life and society to just move on but as parents, we can't.

"But we also can't get stuck so we bring them with us.

"How many children are out there who have never had a voice? If others weren't highlighting these children in the institutions, then who will?"

This evening's virtual art exhibition is being streamed live on the Remembering Tuam Babies Facebook page, as well as the Stay With Me Art Instagram page, and YouTube channel Stay With Me art show.

The show on the theme of loss also highlights how an excavation has yet to take place at the site in Co Galway.

The show was directed and curated by journalist and author Alison O'Reilly, who broke the story of the Tuam babies' burial scandal in 2014 and has written a book on the home, My Name Is Bridget.

"All of the families have wished each other well and wished well to those who are suffering," Ms O'Reilly said ahead of the exhibition launch.

Work at the Tuam site in 2017 showed "significant quantities of human remains" in a 20-chamber underground structure near a decommissioned sewage tank.

DNA analysis confirmed the ages of the dead children ranged from 35 weeks gestation to three years and were buried mainly in the 1950s.