Fundraising gig ‘at all times’ had approval of Manuela’s parents

THE organiser of a fundraiser for murdered Swiss student Manuela Riedo has given an assurance that he has “at all times had approval” from her parents for the concert.

A war of words broke out last week between Brendan McGuinness, a Swiss-based Irish businessman involved in the setting up of the Manuela Riedo Foundation, and Shane Lennon, organising a concert in Galway on Friday.

Mr McGuinness claimed Mr Lennon’s concert did not have the support of the foundation.

He said he did not have an issue with the concert going ahead – but was opposed to the foundation’s name being associated with it.

However in a message to almost 2,500 members of the Manuela Riedo Foundation Fundraiser, posted on Facebook yesterday, Mr Lennon said he wanted to “go on record” and state the concert at all times had approval from Hans Peter and Arlette Riedo to use the foundation’s name for the planned fundraiser.

Mr Lennon said he has a signed letter from Hans Peter and Arlette stating this and also that they will be travelling to Galway to attend the concert.

“They have also requested that all legal threats be removed from the organisers and the acts,” he said.

“I would hope that we could now focus on the night and ensure that we make it a fantastic success in raising awareness and much needed funds for the foundation.”

Sharon Shannon, Marc Roberts, Mary McPartlan, Lucia Evans, Don Stiffe and Frank Naughton are among the musicians who will perform next Friday night and ticket sales are understood to be going well despite the row.

Seventeen-year-old Manuela was murdered in October 2007. She had just arrived in Galway to learn English and a local man, Gerald Barry, 29, was later convicted of her killing.

The Manuela Riedo Foundation’s mission is to help and support rape victims and their families across Europe.

Her parents are currently taking legal advice in the hope of taking a case against the state claiming a litany of failures in the justice system.

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