Jastine Valdez laid to rest in Philippines weeks after abduction and murder by Irish dad Mark Hennessy
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Jastine Valdez laid to rest in Philippines weeks after abduction and murder by Irish dad Mark Hennessy

Murdered student Jastine Valdez has been laid to rest in the Philippines six weeks after her brutal killing in Ireland.

Jastine, 24, was abducted while walking home from a bus stop in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow on the evening of Saturday, May 19.

Her body was found in undergrowth near Rathmichael, south Co. Dublin two days later.

The discovery of Ms Valdez's remains came less than 24 hours after her murderer, local dad-of-two and construction worker Mark Hennessy, was shot dead by an armed Garda officer in Carrickmines.

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Mark Hennessy strangled Jastine Valdez to death shortly after abducting her on May 19 (Image: Facebook)

Gardaí have not established any prior connection between Hennessy and Ms Valdez, who came to Ireland in 2015 to join her parents and worked at a restaurant in Bray, Co. Wicklow while studying.

A mass was held in Dublin on Sunday to remember the "bright and beautiful" student ahead of what would have been her 25th birthday.

And today, hundreds of relatives, friends and neighbours gathered in the Valdez family's hometown of Aritao for an emotional funeral mass.

Speaking to mourners, Honorary Consul for the Philippines in Ireland, Mark Congdon, said: "We remember the sincere pouring of empathy of both the people of the Philippines and Ireland and all the incredible acts of quiet kindness shown in respect of Jastine.

'Bright and beautiful' Jastine moved to live with her parents in Wicklow a few years ago (Image: Facebook)
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"Jastine was a young girl at the beginning of an exciting journey in life who was tragically and inexplicably taken.

"We remember the Hennessy family, innocent victims subsumed by this senseless tragedy.

"Most of all we remember a beautiful young daughter, granddaughter, cousin and friend.

"A young, hard working lady, full of love, fun, joy and so many dreams for the future."

Ms Valdez was buried alongside her late grandfather and uncle following the service at St Joseph’s Parish Church in Banangan, Nueva Vizcaya.

May she rest in peace.