Students leave after killing


As the Garda murder investigation continues in Galway into the death of Swiss student Manuela Riedo, arrangements are being made to repatriate her body in the coming days. Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent, reports.

A group of 42 of Ms Riedo's fellow students travelled back to Switzerland yesterday, having decided to cut short their planned two-week stay in Galway. Counselling has been arranged for the students in association with Fribourg College where Ms Riedo had been completing an apprenticeship in sales.

Supt Tom Curley, who is heading the Garda investigation into Ms Riedo's violent death near Lough Atalia, said the work was progressing "satisfactorily".

Supt Curley is working with 50 officers, including detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation. He said the statements taken from Ms Riedo's classmates in order to piece together her last movements had been "very helpful".

Hundreds of people continued to sign books of condolence that have been opened for Ms Riedo's parents, Hans and Arlette, at the Galway Language Centre in Bridge Mills, where she spent one day of language tuition.

A book of condolence will also be open to the public at St Oliver Plunkett's Church in Renmore from today, according to Fr Michael Mulkerrins, parish priest of Renmore, who plans to hold a Mass for Ms Riedo there next Thursday evening.

The Mass is being organised in co-operation with colleges in Galway, including Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT). A service in the Augustinian church, Galway, was held at the request of the Galway Language Centre last Thursday night.

Many students still wished to express their sympathies, Fr Mulkerrins confirmed. "And we have a lot of distraught people in the parish, naturally," he said yesterday. The host family in Renmore Park which had accommodated Ms Riedo since her arrival last Saturday were "very, very upset", he said. Prayers would be said for the student and her family at weekend Masses in the parish, he said.

Ms Riedo, an only child from Hinterkappelen, near Bern, was one of a group of 43 students who had arrived in Galway last weekend for a two-week English language course.

She was one of seven of the group assigned to the Galway Language Centre in Bridge Mills, Galway, while their 36 colleagues were assigned to two other language institutes in the city.

Ms Riedo, who would have reached her 18th birthday on November 5th next, was one of two students staying with her host family in Renmore Park. She was last seen between 7pm and 7.30pm on Monday when she left her lodging to attend a meeting with fellow students and their accompanying teachers in the King's Head pub in Galway's Shop Street.

She never made it to the meeting, and gardaí believe she may have died where her body was found.

It was spotted by a passerby at 9.30am on Tuesday, within half a mile of where she was staying, on an embankment below the "military walk" pedestrian route. She was reported missing at lunchtime on Tuesday.