The heartbroken parents of Ana Kriégel said they now have ‘a special place to remember Ana’ as they planted a tree and unveiled a plaque in her memory today.
Speaking at an emotional event in Kildare, Patrick and Geraldine Kriégel also expressed their thanks for all the support they have received in the wake of her death.
More than 100 people gathered in the gardens of the Leixlip Manor Hotel for the low key event earlier this evening.
As supporters held white balloons aloft in the background, the couple planted a white cherry blossom tree in the gardens where Ana played so often as a child.
“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 Geraldine.
“Ana used to love coming here with Patrick 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 Patrick: ‘Papa can we go up to the hotel again like we used to.
“A special thank you to our friends, Angela and Pete, for organizing 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 over the past year.”
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 Kriégel’
Earlier this 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, has also been 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’s 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.