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Murdered Manuela's parents speak of their heartbreak for first time

TRAGIC Manuela Riedo's parents have revealed that they will never forgive the man who murdered their daughter.

Hans-Peter and Arlette Riedo have opened up about their heartache for the first time on Irish television.

The 17-year-old English language student had just arrived in Galway when she was brutally raped and murdered by Gerard Barry (31) in October 2007.

Her heartbroken mother said they could never accept an apology from the killer.

"We will never forgive him -- never forgive such a thing," Arlette revealed in a heartbreaking interview on TV3, to be shown tomorrow.

Safe

"I'm not an evil person but no, I could not forgive him.

"I'm very angry and I just hope one day he has to go through this as well -- to lose someone that you love and can't replace. But then I believe this man doesn't have feelings."

The father of the Swiss teenager said that they were reassured that Galway was "safe" and had no misgivings about letting their only child go on the trip.

"We were all prepared, the school had an information evening and showed Galway as a safe place and that we needn't worry," he said.

"This trip was sort of a trial and if these two weeks went well, she would have gone to San Diego for a year."

And Hans-Peter said nothing can compensate for the loss of his daughter who had so much promise ahead of her.

"Justice? No. As long as he is prison at least he cannot hurt anybody else but you can't give justice to a life. She's gone," he said in the interview.

The devastated parents talked to Sinead Desmond on TV3's Ireland AM, which will be broadcast from 7am tomorrow.

They will mark Manuela's life by making a pilgrimage along the route that Manuela travelled from Dublin to Galway.

There will be a balloon release in Salthill, Galway on Friday and A Night For Manuela concert on Saturday at 8pm.

Arlette said that it is particularly difficult for their family around seasonal celebrations.

"I do miss her very much -- very often. Sometimes every week sometimes every day..

"It can be the simple things like opening a drawer and finding a drawing that says 'To mammy from Manuela' she could have been two years of age, five years or when she was 10 years of age.

"Her birthdays are obviously very hard too -- she died in October and her birthday is November 5 and that's very close and still hurts.

Concert

"She's not there on St Nicholas Day and at Christmas, these days we would celebrate with family so there is always and empty space."

There are still tickets available for the concert and donations to the foundation established to help rape victim groups can be made online at www.ANightForManuela.com

The interview will air on Ireland AM on Friday morning at 8:10.