Friday 24 November 2017

Parents mark four years since Manuela's death

Brian McDonald

HUNDREDS of balloons soared into the evening sky over Galway Bay in memory of a tragic schoolgirl.

The parents of Manuela Riedo waved a quiet farewell as the balloons disappeared over the horizon in a repeat of the poignant act that marked the end of Manuela's funeral ceremony in the Swiss village of Hinterkappelen four years ago. Hans Peter and Arlette Riedo had returned as promised to lend their support to the annual 'Night for Manuela' fundraising concert, which takes place in Salthill this evening.

Funds raised from the concert support education programmes for young people run in collaboration with the Galway Rape Crisis Centre. Manuela's parents were joined on their trip back to Galway by 50 students from her school in Fribourg. They, in turn, were joined by 50 local students in a gesture of solidarity with the Riedo family.

The Mayor of Galway, Cllr Hildgarde Naughton, stood in solidarity with Manuela's parents before the balloons were released. Also present were a number of gardai who had helped track down the schoolgirl's killer four years ago.

Manuela was just 17 when her life was cut short by Mervue native Gerald Barry.

Irish Independent

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