Saturday 18 November 2017

Manuela lives on in parents' kindness

John Fallon

THE mother of Swiss teenager Manuela Riedo, who was murdered in Ireland five years ago, has said she gets comfort knowing her only child is helping other victims of sexual assault.

Arlette Riedo and her husband Hans Peter made their annual pilgrimage to Galway at the weekend, the city where their only child was brutally raped and murdered by serial sex attacker Gerald Barry in 2007.

The couple said they would continue to return to the city each year to help raise funds for the Manuela Riedo Foundation, which raises awareness of and seeks to prevent sexual abuse in Ireland.

"Galway is a place of pain but also of healing for us through the work of the foundation. It warms our hearts to see people coming along to the concert to support the foundation," said Arlette.

The couple were joined by the mayor of Galway, Cllr Terry O'Flaherty, on the seafront in Salthill where hundreds of balloons were released on Saturday evening in Manuela's memory.

Later they attended the 'Night for Manuela' fundraising concert in Salthill where money was raised to support the foundation.

More than €100,000 has been raised since the foundation was set up and it has funded almost 200 educational workshops.

An English-language student, Manuela had arrived in Galway just 72 hours earlier when she was attacked and murdered as she walked along a short-cut at Lough Atalia to join her school friends in the city centre on October 8, 2007.

Barry, now aged 33 and from Mervue in Galway, is serving a life sentence for Manuela's murder and two further life terms for the repeated rape of a young French student, also in 2007.

Irish Independent

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