Belfast Telegraph

Mourners say a final farewell to 'beautiful, cheeky, loving' schoolgirl Ana

By Ryan Nugent

Far too young to have to come to terms with such heartbreaking grief, the friends of Ana Kriegel sat on the grass in silence as they mourned a vibrant, creative and kind "Siberian warrior".

The crematorium at Newlands Cross in Dublin was packed to capacity and beyond, with hundreds attending an emotional memorial service.

Ana (14) was reported missing on May 14 and her body was found three days later at a property in Lucan, south Dublin.

A 13-year-old boy has been remanded in custody after being charged with the murder of the schoolgirl.

Those who came to pay tribute to Ana were awash with colour and sparkle, just as her parents, Geraldine and Patrick, had requested.

A crowd from her Dance LA group provided a touching guard of honour for Ana, who was described as a "Siberian warrior".

The teenager, who was adopted from Siberia by Geraldine and Patrick, "was taken from us", said celebrant Padraic Cawley.

"From Russia with Love is a title of a James Bond movie I'm sure we'll all be familiar with," he said. "Ana came from Russia with love. None of us want to be here this afternoon. None of us want to say goodbye to Ana for the last time.

"We are all numbed, confused, very angry and bewildered that such a thing has happened to the most beautiful, caring, kind, strong-willed, crazy, sometimes cheeky, but always a loving princess - that was Anastasia Kriegel.

"This beautiful young girl has been taken from us, yet there's something that can never be taken away, however long or short a life has been. And that is the experience of giving and receiving love." Mr Cawley described the period when Ana was missing just over a fortnight ago as "every parent's worst nightmare".

"The not knowing, the wondering, the anguish, the feeling of helplessness, the despair for three days which I'm sure felt like an eternity," he said.

In attendance at the ceremony was Russian Ambassador to Ireland, Yury Filatov, while a number of people close to Ana and her family spoke about her life. Her aunt Jan told of her niece's love of swimming, dancing, make-up and clothes.

She added: "Ana's individuality and identity was very important to her. Ana, we love and cherish you."

After a moving slide show of family pictures, applause rang out for a beautiful young girl snatched from all those who had loved her so deeply.

Belfast Telegraph

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