Parents of murdered Swiss teen visit Galway

 

The heartbroken parents of Manuela Riedo, the Swiss teenager killed in Galway last October, yesterday morning retraced the final footsteps of their only child.

Sheets of rain and an icy wind blowing in from Galway Bay provided a grim backdrop as Hans-Peter and Arlette Riedo, accompanied by gardaí and HSE West officials, visited the place where their 17-year-old daughter was murdered in October.

Manuela had travelled to Galway with more than 40 other Swiss students to spend a fortnight learning English in Galway.

She was just 48 hours in the city when she was attacked and strangled on a walkway just below the railway line.

Yesterday as reporters and cameramen remained at the roadside following their request for privacy, the Riedos spread 11 red roses and two white roses close to a tree where Manuela's body had been found.

They spent 20 minutes at the scene before returning, hand in hand, and stopping to look at the dozens of flowers which have been left at the gate at the start of the path. Arlette Riedo removed a branch from one of the bouquets to take back to their home in Hinterkappelen, on the outskirts of Bern. They were accompanied to the murder scene by Det Insp Gerry Roche and liaison personnel.

The Riedos were greeted by Insp Marie Skehill before walking along the path beside the railway line which overlooked the open area where Manuela's body was discovered.

They declined to speak to the media but in a statement issued on their behalf by the HSE West, they expressed their gratitude to all those who had supported them through their grief.

"Many people whom we do not know have written to us, have had Masses said and have given us flowers for Manuela. We would like to thank you and say that it has helped us greatly through this difficult time.

"We extend our gratitude to all the people who have made our visit to Ireland possible," the statement added. "We would also like to thank all the Irish people who attended Manuela's funeral Mass in Switzerland and all who lit candles and prayed for us. We hope and pray that for Manuela justice will be given."

An unemployed Galway man, Gerald Barry (27) is on remand at Castlerea Prison charged with murdering Manuela Riedo on October 8th.

The trial expected to take place later this year.