Saturday 21 July 2018

Gorse fires at Puck's Castle 'will have no impact on Jastine Valdez investigation' - gardaí

Jastine Valdez missing
Jastine Valdez missing

Rachel Farrell

A gorse fire at Puck's Castle, Co Dublin will have no impact on the investigation into the murder of Jastine Valdez, gardaí have confirmed.

Five fire engines and a water tanker tackled a gorse fire yesterday evening around 5pm at Puck's Castle in the Rathmichael area.

Crews from Dun Laoghaire, Tallaght, Rathfarnham and Dolphin's Barn attended the scene, with a high volume pump from Tara St arriving later in the evening.

The body of kidnap and murder victim Jastine Valdez (24) was discovered in the Puck's Castle area on May 20. Gardaí believe she had been abducted and killed by dad-of-two Mark Hennessy the day before.

However, gardaí confirmed to Independent.ie that the gorse fires will have no impact on the investigation as their searches in the area have concluded.

The focus of the searches, Jastine's handbag, remains missing.

Crews are at the scene Photo: Dublin Fire Brigade
Crews are at the scene Photo: Dublin Fire Brigade

"The searches have concluded so the gorse fire is of no impact," a Garda spokesperson told Independent.ie.

"No bag has been recovered. Investigations are ongoing and an appeal for information stands."

Consul to the Philippines Mark Christopher Congdon accompanied the Valdez family home to the town of Aritao in the Philippines for the funeral.

In a statement, Mr Congdon said the "spirit of love and compassion" has shone from the Valdez home "like a beacon of light in a dark tunnel of torment".

He said: "Jastine will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Always in the hearts of mum and dad and the hearts of the Filipino and Irish nations, bound together forever in grief in Jastine's name."

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