The funeral of Patrick Kriegel, the dad of tragic schoolgirl Ana who was brutally murdered by two boys, has heard how he could not bear the pain of losing his little girl.
Patrick, formerly of Paris, died peacefully at his home in Leixlip, Co Kildare on Sunday, June 19. As mourners, including his heartbroken wife Geraldine, Aaron, Bruno, Nathalie, Philippe, his family and friends, gathered at Newlands Cross Crematorium, Patrick’s remains were carried into the chapel with Bach’s Goldberg Variations playing.
During the service which was a celebration of Patrick’s life, a poignant recording of Patrick singing one of his favourite French songs ‘L’Invitation Au Voyage’ by Leo Ferre was played. A slideshow of photographs showing Patrick and his family, including his beloved late daughter Ana, in happier times was displayed on a big screen inside the crematorium.
His heartbroken wife Geraldine paid a loving tribute to her “best friend and soulmate” and told mourners that Patrick “opened a beautiful book for me that became the story of our lives together”.
In a recorded message played to mourners at the service in Newlands Cross Crematorium, Geraldine said: “He brought me to a place that I could never have imagined – a world of happiness, passion and excitement.”
Geraldine said Patrick, whom she was married to for 36 years, “embraced life in a very special way.”
She said: “If you met him, he could fill your heart with joy just listening to his laughter and his genuine interest in you and your life.”
Patrick, who was originally from France, moved to Ireland many years ago and lectured in Commercial and business French at DIT, where he brought “a rich tapestry of culture to his classroom.”
Geraldine said Patrick loved the Irish way of life so much that he became a “master of slagging,” but also he was so proud of his own French culture that he did the utmost to educate everyone about it.
“At the beginning he was intrigued with the way Irish people loved to slag each other,” Geraldine said.
“And so he perfected the art and became a master of slagging.”
Geraldine said she “never missed an opportunity to tell him how much I loved him, and likewise “he was never shy about professing his love for me”.
When tragedy struck the Kreigel family with the murder of their beloved daughter Anastasia by two school boys on May 14, 2018, Geraldine told mourners: “The sadness came and how we suffered.
“Life was never the same. My darling Patrick couldn’t bear the pain of losing his little girl, his beloved Ana.”
Family friends shared memories of happier times with Patrick and his family on holidays in France, his philosophical sense which “connected ideas to normal ordinary life,” as well as educating his friends on French cheeses telling them there is “life beyond cheddar cheese.”
Patrick’s brother-in-law Kevin told mourners that he remembers long conversations into the night with Patrick that “made me hooked by his exotic French accent.”
“I remember little of what we said, but I’ve never forgotten how it sounded.”
He said Patrick’s death is “painful because you went too soon.
“Too soon after Ana, it’s just incomprehensible, it doesn’t make sense,” he said.
Family friend Irene Connor told mourners that Patrick “was truly a unique man, because he was a French man with a sense of humour, an Irish one at that”.
She added: “Patrick laughed often and Patrick laughed lots and that infectious laugh will remain always.”
Among the mourners were Deputy Catherine Murphy, a close family friend of the Kriegels, as well as Brendan Grehan, SC, who prosecuted Boy A and Boy B for the murder of Ana during their trial. The two boys, aged 13 at the time, are the youngest ever convicted of murder in Ireland.
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