Child charged with Ana Kriegel’s murder first arrested on Thursday

Judge warns reporters and social media users of boy’s legal entitlement to anonymity

A judge has warned that anyone sharing the identity of a 13-year-old boy accused of murdering Anastasia Kriegel (14) will face prosecution.

At the boy’s initial court hearing on Friday, Judge John O’Connor said the boy is entitled to anonymity under the Children Act and reminded reporters of the reporting restrictions applying to the case. “It’s crucial that these be obeyed,” he said.

He also specifically warned against social media users sharing the child’s details online.

“My focus is on social media. If the child’s name, home, school, picture is reproduced it will be the same as publishing a report in the media.


“Let me be absolutely clear: people will be found in contempt of court and subject to prosecution.”

The boy was first arrested along with another 13 year old on Thursday afternoon.

The children were held overnight, one in Lucan Garda station and the other in Clondalkin. Under section four of the Criminal Justice Act 1984, they could be questioned for 24 hours excluding rest breaks.

In an unusual move, gardaí did not publicly announce the arrests until Friday afternoon, citing concerns about vigilante behaviour against the boy’s families.

At 4.01pm, just before the expiration of the 24-hour period, one of the children was arrested by Det Insp Mark O’Neill in Clondalkin Garda station on suspicion of murdering Anastasia Kriegel.

No reply

Det Insp O’Neill told the Children’s Court on Friday he was also present when the charge was formally put to the boy at 4.39pm. “His father was present when he was charged,” he said.

The boy made no reply when the accusation was put to him.

At about the same time, the other 13 year old was released without charge. Gardaí said a file has been sent to the DPP.

At 5.30pm, the arrested boy was brought in a Garda van from Clondalkin Garda station to a special sitting of the Children’s Court in Smithfield, Dublin. His parents accompanied him in the van while an unmarked Garda car travelled behind.

The vehicles entered through a side entrance of the court complex. About 15 minutes later, the child was brought into the small courtroom in the company of his parents, the two detectives and his solicitor.

The child appeared to limp slightly as he entered.

Judge O’Connor informed his mother she could sit beside him if she wanted. Shortly after the hearing started, his grandfather entered and was granted permission to stay.

The judge asked the boy if it was his first time in court and he replied “yes”. The judge told him he had no authority to grant bail on a murder charge and remanded him in custody in Oberstown until next Friday.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times