herald

Sunday 18 August 2019

'Special place' - Parents plant tree in tragic Ana's favourite childhood spot

Patric and Geraldine Kriegel turn the sod on a cherry blossom tree
Patric and Geraldine Kriegel turn the sod on a cherry blossom tree
Ana Kriegel

More than 100 people turned out to remember Ana Kriegel in a moving ceremony over the weekend during which her parents planted a tree in her honour.

During the emotional event in Kildare, Geraldine and Patric Kriegel expressed their thanks for all the support they have received in the wake of Ana's murder.

Locals and supporters gathered in the gardens of the Leixlip Manor Hotel for the low-key ceremony on Saturday.

As they held white balloons aloft in the background, the couple planted a white cherry blossom tree in the gardens where Ana had often played as a child.

Remember

"We are grateful to the owner of the Leixlip Manor Hotel and of course [the organiser of the event] Majella for this lovely idea of having a special place to remember Ana," said Ms Kriegel.

"Ana used to love coming here with Patric for lunch during school holidays and was disappointed when it closed.

"Shortly before she died, she discovered that it had reopened as Leixlip Manor and she was delighted and said to Patric, 'Papa can we go up to the hotel again like we used to?'

"A special thank you to our friends, Angela and Pete, for organising everything for us today.

"And thank you all for coming to join us today and for the wonderful support that all of you have given us."

A warm round of applause then erupted from the gathered crowd before the couple unveiled the bench and a plaque bearing the simple message: 'Forever loved. Forever Cherished. Ana Kriegel.'

Last month, two teenage boys were found guilty before the Central Criminal Court of the murder of the schoolgirl.

One of them, known as Boy A, was also found guilty of aggravated sexual assault.

The boys, who were both 13 years old at the time, had denied the offences.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott remanded both boys in custody and adjourned sentencing to July 15.

The judge also ordered probation and psychiatrist reports for both defendants, as well as school reports and any another other available reports, saying he was "seeking professional assistance" in relation to this "very difficult case".

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