Mark Hennessy may have spent night drinking and taking drugs after killing Jastine Valdez

Gardaí examining what happened on Saturday and Sunday

Mark Hennessy with the car the Garda believes he used to abduct Jastine Valdez.

Gardaí are trying to establish whether Dubliner Mark Hennessy spent last Saturday night drinking and taking drugs after he strangled Jastine Valdez.

While both Hennessy and Ms Valdez are dead, gardaí are continuing to investigate what happened during the 26-hour period between last Saturday and Sunday evenings.

They are now examining reports Hennessy went drinking in south Dublin, including at one pub close to his old family home in Ballybrack.

Gardaí are also investigating claims from some witnesses that Hennessy had been trying to buy cocaine in at least one other pub.


The postmortem examination on the remains of Ms Valdez, a 24-year-old accountancy student from the Philippines, showed she had been manually strangled.

Gardaí believe Hennessy was acting out of a sexual motive when he abducted her from a roadside outside Enniskerry, Co Wicklow on Saturday just after 6pm.

Banging frantically

There are several eyewitness reports claiming they saw Ms Valdez, who lived in Enniskerry with her parents, banging frantically on the windows.

At least one witness also said Ms Valdez had tried to fight off Hennessy as he bundled her into his car.

Gardaí believe Hennessy killed Ms Valdez in his car soon after the abduction to stop her from drawing any other witnesses’ attention.

He then drove to Puck's Castle Lane, Rathmichael, south Co Dublin, and threw her body into thick gorse.

Several people have told gardaí they saw his Nissan Qashqai being driven "like a rally car" around the Rathmichael area.

Gardaí see that as further evidence his abduction plan was going wrong and he had not expected Ms Valdez to be seen as she fought against her kidnapping.

Gardaí are also trying to establish where he went after he dumped the body. They believe at least some of the evening was spent in a pub drinking.

Most of a CCTV system in one pub has been taken by the Garda for examination.

Gardaí believe Hennessy (40), a construction worker living in Bray, Co Wicklow, was driving not only around Enniskerry and Rathmichael but also Dalkey, Killiney and other locations in south Co Dublin before and after the murder.

Phoned wife

On Sunday morning, having been out since leaving his home in Bray at 5pm on Saturday, he rang his wife.

He told her, the mother of his two children – aged eight months and two years – he was never coming home and they would never see each other again.

That evening, at about 8pm, he was shot dead by an armed garda after being confronted in Cherrywood, south Dublin.

An examination of his car found a large quantity of blood from self-inflicted wounds. He had also left a note with the words “sorry” and “Puck’s Castle” scrawled on it.

The note is being forensically cleaned in a bid to decipher more of the writing. The blood on it is believed to be Hennessy’s, self-inflicted with the knife he had when challenged by gardaí.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times