'Always in the hearts of her mum and dad' - remains Jastine Valdez to be flown to the Philippines
JASTINE Valdez will live on through her heartbroken parents, who will bring her remains back to the Philippines tomorrow, a memorial for the murdered student has heard.
Ms Valdez (24) was murdered by Mark Hennessy after he kidnapped her from near her home in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow on May 19.
Gardai found him at the Cherrywood Business Park on May 20 and he was shot dead, Jastine's remains were discovered last Monday, May 21, following an extensive search.
Mark Christopher Congdon, Honorary Consul for the Philippines in Ireland, said that he will travel with her devastated parents Teresita and Danilo to the Philippines tomorrow for her funeral service.
He thanked the public for their support and commended Terresita and Danilo for their "sincere compassion" towards the Hennessy family.
Mr Congdon this afternoon released a statement that he read at a memorial held for Ms Valdez on Saturday: "There is sincere compassion - compassion for the Hennessy family left behind as innocent victims of a cruel fate.
"Tess and Dani understand this horrific pain and have shown incredible strength, understanding and sympathy for their plight while in the midst of the worst calamity imaginable.
"Their depth of strength and empathy is both formidable and understanding."
Mr Congdon continued to say that the accountancy student will live on through those who knew her.
"Filipino and Irish, hand in hand, in solidarity, compassion and grief.
"That spirit has been expressed in many forms, in words and deep regret, in silent tears, in families coming together in a single home to pray for Jastine, Tess and Dani, in attending the many prayer vigils across communities scattered across Ireland, in the 4,458 kind people who have made silent donations to the Jastine Valdez Memorial Fund, in the many amazing friends who have supported Terresita and Danilo in the last few horrendous days," he noted.
"Let me turn to the spirit of love and compassion, this spirit has shone from the Valdez home like a beacon of light in a dark tunnel of torment.
"The obvious un-abounding light of love for Jastine, unconditional, pure and absolute.
"Jastine will be greatly missed but never forgotten, always in the hearts of her mum and dad and the hearts of the Filipino and Irish nations, bound together forever in grief in Jastine's name...
"Jastine Jeryle Valdez will always be loved and remembered as the cherished, beautiful, fun loving, hard working, devoted daughter and grand-daughter of the Philippines who has been adopted into the hearts of the people of Ireland as one of our own forever more."
The Valdez and Hennessy families said in a joint statement released through gardai on Sunday evening that they met last week to extend their respects to each other.
"In the midst of our grief, both the Valdez and Hennessy families met on Friday morning where we exchanged sympathies with each other on the tragic circumstances that resulted in the loss of our respective love ones.
"Both families request privacy at this very difficult time," said the statement.
Hennessy's father told mourners at a private funeral for his son in Harold's Cross on Saturday that his family was "broken".
"For the past week, I have been waking every morning to see my darling sweetheart wife broken, broken," he said.
"I look at my sons and my daughters and they're broken. I look at Mark's uncles and auntie, cousins, nephews, nieces and his beautiful, beautiful daughters and they're broken and I can't fix them.
"To all the people who have come here today and to all of the people who have come through home, offering the shake of a hand, a cuddle, a peck on the cheek, words of encouragement - thank you for coming into this nightmare to help us, because you have helped us so much more.
"To every single person on this planet who has had a kind thought for us, thank you - thank you," he added.
Independent News Service