Murdered ITT student laid to rest in native Philippines

By Brendan Grehan

THE FUNERAL of the IT Tallaght student Jastine Valdez (24), who was abducted and murdered in Wicklow in May, has taken place in her home town in the Philipinnes.

Ms Valdez was on her way home in Enniskerry when she was abducted and later killed by Mark Hennessy in a random attack.

jastinevaldez

Jastine Valdez, who was abucted in Wicklow

In June, her body was repatriated to her native Philippines and in keeping with local tradition, her parents kept her remains in repose at their family home for a number of weeks.

On Monday, the funeral of Ms Valdez took place in her hometown of Aritao.

A large crowd of family, friends and neighbours attended the local church for a funeral Mass and blessing, before the young woman was buried in the adjoining graveyard.

The family of the deceased, including her parents Teresita and Danilo, have expressed their gratitude for a memorial Mass, which was held in her honour at the former Rutland Hospital in Dublin last week.

The remains of Ms Valdez were discovered near Puck’s Castle Lane, Rathmichael, south Dublin, following a massive search operation for the missing student.

Gardai believe she was abducted by Hennessy near her home in Enniskerry before being murdered within an hour of her disappearance.

Hennessy was eventually tracked down to a car park in Cherrywood, south Dublin.

During a stand-off with two gardai, including an armed detective, he was shot once in the shoulder as he sat in his black Nissan Qashqai, which he used to abduct Ms Valdez. This bullet ricocheted into his abdomen, causing fatal injuries.

A Gsoc investigation is currently under way into the circumstances surrounding his death.

A hand-written note was recovered in the SUV, which had the words ‘Sorry’ and ‘Puck’s Castle’ written on it.

The remains of Ms Valdez were later located in the Puck’s Castle area.

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