Teenager’s death ‘shocking’ to quiet Lucan community

‘It’s weird to think that somebody is out there that would have done that to someone’

Gardaí continue their investigations at the derelict house and farmyard on the Clonee Road, Lucan, where the body of 14 year old Ana Kriegal was found on Thursday. Photograph: Collins Dublin

Gardaí continue their investigations at the derelict house and farmyard on the Clonee Road, Lucan, where the body of 14 year old Ana Kriegal was found on Thursday. Photograph: Collins Dublin

 

On Friday, a dilapidated farmhouse along Clonee Road in Lucan was sealed off, the scene of a brutal murder.

Gardaí suspect 14-year old Anastasia ‘Ana’ Kriegel was murdered in the abandoned farmhouse on Monday, where her body was left for several days before it was discovered on Thursday.

On Friday morning as commuters and parents on the school run drove down the busy road, gardaí were stationed at the scene. Flowers had been placed near the entrance to St Catherine’s Park, with cards addressed to Ana.

“Her poor parents must be just devastated, ” said Paula Smith, who lives nearby in Lucan village. “It’s shocking ... really really sad. My son actually used to go to the school she went to as well,” she said.

“It’s a bit weird to think that somebody is out there that would have done that to someone, someone you could probably know even, ” she said.

St Catherine’s Park, where Ana Kriegel was last seen alive on Monday around 5.30pm, is a short walk from the crime scene.

Gardaí had conducted several searches of the 200 acres park on Tuesday and Wednesday, after the girl’s family reported her missing on Monday evening, when she did not return home.

Closure

Mark Harkley was taking his dog for a walk through the park on Friday. “It’s a shock to the whole community. You don’t expect anything like this to happen on your doorstep, but unfortunately it did” he said.

Mr Harkley said he hoped the Garda investigation brought closure for the family “very quickly”.

The park was “well-used” by the local community, and always busy, he said.

The murdered girl lived in Newtown Park, outside Leixlip, Co Kildare, near the opposite end of the park to where her body was found.

The park was popular among teenagers as a place to hang out, and had a skate and BMX park, and several football pitches. It is also a regular spot for joggers and dog walkers.

Tony Butler lives beside the entrance to the park Ana Kriegel would have used regularly. The area was “so quiet” he said, at times teenagers would be coming home from the park late at night, but there was “never any trouble”..

Ana was a first year student at Confey College Secondary School, a large mixed school with more than 700 pupils in Leixlip.

In a statement, Mike O’Byrne, the school principal, said her death was a “terrible tragedy” for the community. She would be “greatly missed by her fellow students and teachers,” Mr O’Byrne said.

“You would be shocked that this would happen to any child, but when you know the family it’s a little bit different,” Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy, who is a personal friend of the family the Kriegel family told RTE’s News at One.

Ms Murphy said she had been aware that Ana was missing and had visited the family a number of times this week.

“I’ve known her since she was a tot. They were very dedicated parents. We have been friends for several decades, a group of us would have socialised together. Their social life changed once she arrived.”

The Kildare North TD commended the local community for the manner in which they rallied around the family, but said, that like their friends, they all felt helpless at this time.

The family commended the manner with which the Gardai treated them, she said. “They took them very seriously when they called into the station at 8pm on Monday. It was out of character. There wouldn’t be an unanswered text.

“This needs to be solved quickly. People are afraid. This is a devastating crime for the entire community,” she said.

Ms Murphy appealed for anyone – classmates, friends, parents of friends to contact the Garda with any information they might have. “They knew her in a different way. It’s really important if they have information that they give it.”