‘Patrick couldn’t bear the pain of losing his little girl’ – tributes at funeral of Ana Kriegel’s father

THE GALLERY of family snapshots spoke of love, of laughter, of warm summer days spent by the lake and a life lived well together.

everal photographs showed Patrick Kriegel snuggled up happily with his beloved daughter, Ana, each beaming a smile as broad as the other’s.

Then those loving father-daughter images stopped short and nothing was as before.


Geraldine Kriegel, wife of the late Patrick Kriegel, arrives at the Newlands Cross crematorium for the funeral. Picture Colin Keegan / Collins Dublin

“What happened changed everything. For Patrick, a light went out, ”mourners were told at his funeral service yesterday at the Newlands Cross Crematorium.

His wife, Geraldine said it had been “an honor and a privilege” to be Patrick’s wife for 36 years, describing him as “my best friend, my soulmate, my everything”.

Their life together had been a whirlwind of adventure, madness and fun.

“And then 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, ”she said.

Mourners who attended the service included barrister Brendan Grehan SC, who had been the prosecutor in the murder trial in 2019 following the death of 14-year-old Ana Kriegél. Deputy Catherine Murphy, a close family friend, also attended.

Geraldine Kriegel’s words, recorded in advance, spoke of their marriage as “a beautiful poem that became the story of our lives together”.

“He brought me to a place that I could never have imagined – a world of happiness and passion and excitement.”


Murdered schoolgirl Ana Kriegel. Photo: PA

Life in Ireland had suited his temperament and he had become a master of the art of slagging. But, originally from Paris, he loved French culture and did his utmost to educate them about it, she added.

“I always knew I was lucky to have found, in this big wide world of ours, such a rare and sparkling gem,” she said.

They had always found it easy to express their love for one another. It was with “much difficulty” that they became a family, Geraldine said, but the wait was worth it when Ana and Aaron came into their lives.

“Our lives became a whirlwind of adventure and madness. I can’t tell you how much fun we had together, ”she said, speaking of winter skiing and summer beach holidays and their‘ little house ’in Annecy in the French Alps.

“He was my rock. My love for him knows no bounds – as my pain knows no bounds. ”

The simple service was accompanied by an eclectic mix of beautiful music they had enjoyed together and with deeply moving poignancy, the coffin dropped gently out of sight to the words of Ne Me Quitte Pas – (Do Not Leave Me).

Mourners heard Patrick had enriched the lives of his work colleagues, his students and all those who had known him, with his kindness, his sense of humor and his ‘infectious conspiratorial giggle’.

People had felt at ease in his company, regardless of his huge intellect, because he was a good listener.

His compassion and his deep capacity for forgiveness was recalled.

Geraldine’s brother, Kevin, spoke of the “wonderful Parisian cafe atmosphere” that Patrick had created so effortlessly.

“He was always listening, always present, ready to engage and help,” he said.

Friend Irene Connor spoke of a man who, though he had spent his life in Ireland was a “true French man”. “He was truly unique because he was a French man with a sense of humor – and an Irish sense of humor at that,” she said, to laughter.

“Patrick laughed often and laughed lots and that infectious laugh and that joie de vivre we will always remember.”

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