Foundation Fundraising Suspended Following Controversy
The parents of murdered Swiss teenager Manuela Riedo have confirmed that fundraising has been suspended in the foundation established in their only child’s name.
During a weekend visit to Galway where the 17-year-old was murdered in October 2007, they also confirmed that funds raised have yet to be distributed pending the outcome of an investigation in Switzerland by the body that monitors charities.
But Arlette and Hans-Pieter Riedo said that victims of sexual assault would continue to benefit for years to come from the foundation.
A press conference in Salthill on Saturday was told that the Riedos are interested in projects that include education and prevention work, and help for victims of sexual crimes. At a visit to Galway Rape Crisis Centre the Riedos heard first-hand about projects which have suffered severely from recent cutbacks.
They declined to go into any detail about the controversy surrounding the resignation of charity founder Brendan McGuinness, a Dublin native who owns a pub in Basel, and were anxious during their visit to Galway to concentrate on the projects planned by the foundation.
Mr McGuinness stood down after a breakdown in trust between himself and Manuela Riedo’s mother, Arlette. The differences between them originally arose out of a decision by Ms Riedo to give her approval for a concert in Galway last October at a time when he was organising one in the O2 in Dublin.
The parents have visited Galway on a number of occasions since their daughter was murdered just days after arriving in the city to study English.
Gerard Barry (30), Rosan Glas, Rahoon, Galway, and who is originally from the Mervue area of the city, is serving a life sentence after being convicted of murdering her on dates between October 8th and 9th in 2007. Manuela had only arrived in Galway a few days earlier to learn English when she was attacked as she walked from her accommodation in Renmore to the city centre.
Fiona Neary of the Rape Crisis Network said it was necessary to sort out issues surrounding funds raised in Switzerland.
“It is not appropriate at this time to have any discussion regarding ongoing matters in Basel, which we believe will be clarified,” she said.