Local priest leads prayers for those affected by the murder of Ana Kriegel
Everyone affected by the murder of 14-year-old school girl Ana Kriegel was remembered in a special prayer service in her home parish yesterday.
Fr Tony O'Shaughnessy asked parishioners to pray for Ana, her grieving parents Geraldine and Patric and their wider family during yesterday's Mass at St Charles Borromeo Church in Leixlip, Co Kildare.
He also asked parishioners to say a prayer for the families "whose lives have been turned upside down in this tragedy", in reference to the families of the two teenage boys convicted of her murder.
But in what he described as "simply a moment of prayer and reflection", he also asked the congregation to pray for everyone who was still coming to terms with her violent death - including other children, parents, teachers and neighbours as well as those who work with the bereaved.
"The nature of the service was an opportunity for parishioners to come together to pray for one another and to pray for the wider community as well as to pray for the people who have been affected by the tragedy," he told the Irish Independent last night.
"We prayed for all the families at the centre of this tragedy," he said. While Ana's family was not in attendance at the service, he said the prayer had been "quietly organised for the people of the parish" to help give them solace as the community comes to term with the horrific murder and the subsequent trial, which ended on June 18.
The boys, known only as Boy A and Boy B, are to be sentenced on July 15.
He told the congregation that "the solid foundations on which we stood are shattered".
"In the past year, we have witnessed a horrendous tragedy in our community, bringing with it an almost indescribable sense of loss, pain, grief, hurt, confusion, anger."
The prayer service followed a tree-planting ceremony in Leixlip on Saturday in which a white cherry blossom tree was planted in memory of the slain teenager.