It would be hard not to be moved by the devastation of members of all three families directly affected by the verdict in the case of the murder of Ana Kriegel, yet the prevailing sympathy must go first and foremost to the victim herself, and to her parents.
Geraldine and Patric Kriegel had to listen to weeks of testimony that outlined in horrific detail the manner in which Ana met her death. They did so with rare stoicism, courage, and serenity and, even when the verdicts were read out, both remained calm and dignified. They did her proud.
They also shared with us their time with Ana. Geraldine Kriegel told the court she had been adopted from Siberia in Russia when she was two years old. Her adoption day was celebrated by the family every year, as well as her birthday.
In court, Geraldine painted a vivid picture of a girl who would spend hours in the front room of their home, listening to music, singing, and dancing.
The tragedy for Ana is not just the brutal manner of her death but the totality of her short life. Her beginning, in Novokuznetsk, an industrial city in western Siberia, was inauspicious; her early childhood in Ireland was happy and carefree, but her teenage years were troubled due to having to endure savage bullying in school and online.
The tragedy for Geraldine and Patric is having to face a life sentence without their beloved daughter.