Jastine Valdez funeral held in Philippines weeks after murder

Filipino student was abducted and killed in Enniskerry in May


Family, friends and neighbours of Jastine Valdez gathered in the Philippines on Monday for the funeral of the student who was abducted and killed in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, in May.

Ms Valdez was buried on Monday in her hometown of Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya, in the northern part of the Philippines. Local people of all ages accompanied her remains to the St Joseph parish church for a funeral mass and blessing. She was buried in the Aritao Catholic cemetery.

Ms Valdez was abducted while walking near her home in Enniskerry on Saturday evening, May 19th. The man who murdered her, Mark Hennessy from Ballybrack in Co Dublin, was shot dead by a garda the next day in Carrickmines.

Ms Valdez’s body was found on May 21st in undergrowth in the Rathmichael area. Gardaí have not established any prior connection between Mr Hennessy and Ms Valdez, who came to Ireland a few years ago to join her parents and who worked occasionally at a restaurant in Bray, Co Wicklow, while also studying.

Last week a small group of mourners gathered near Dublin’s city centre to remember the “bright and beautiful” Filipino student ahead of what would have been her 25th birthday.

The memorial mass was held in the recently refurbished Richmond Hospital in north Dublin on the 40th day after Ms Valdez’s death.

The event was held in conjunction with the Valdez family’s 40-day memorial mass which was celebrated in the family home in the Philippines. According to Filipino tradition, Ms Valdez’s body has been lying in repose since its arrival in the country over a month ago, allowing family and friends to visit her grandmother’s home before the funeral.

Valdez funeral: In pictures

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