Fundraising campaign for parents of Jastine Valdez raises over €30,000

By Sarah Slater

A fundraising campaign has raised over €30,000 to help support the parents of student Jastine Valdez, who was abducted last Saturday.

A body of woman in her early 20s was located in thick gorse land close to the Puck’s Castle area in south county Dublin yesterday afternoon.

It comes as a further appeal for information was issued into the disappearance of Ms Valdez.

Several pieces of clothing and personal items were also found.

The body has been taken from the scene to the city morgue and a post-mortem to establish the time and cause of death is expected to take place today.

No formal identification has been carried out on the body found yesterday afternoon but it is believed to be Ms Valdez.

The crowd funding page has been set-up by Raymond Garrett on behalf of Outreach Ireland hoping to raise €10,000.

The group is made up of volunteers who have been helping run the Philippine Embassy outreach missions in Ireland since March 2016 and other Philippine-related events by contributing their time, skills and resources as needed on a temporary basis.

Donations to the page on the crowdfunding site, gofundme.com, Jastine Valdez Memorial Fund, have been flooding in since being created early this morning. So far €30,949 has been donated.

In a post Mr Garrett said: “This page was set up to facilitate all of those who wish to offer support and sympathy to the family of Jastine Valdez following her devastating death.

“Any and all funds raised on this page will go directly to the parents of Jastine Valdez to help them in the weeks and months ahead.

“This is an fundraising page was set up on behalf of the Filipino community via a Filipino community group Outreach Ireland.

It was done in an effort to allow those that wish to help to do so, also there is a Filipino tradition of giving money to grieving families called Abuloy and many would like to follow this tradition without directly disturbing the grieving family.

“The solicitor (overseeing the fundraising) is from Bourke Law of Fitzwilliam Street. We have made indirect contact with the family and all money raised will be paid directly to the family, directly into there back account.”

Mr Garrett said that the fundraising will be carried out in a fully transparent manner.

He added: “Jastine Valdez was an only child taken from her parents at the age of 24 in the most unimaginable circumstance.

“Born in the Philippines she came to Ireland to study and to join her parents who are now naturalised Irish citizens. Both parents work and are active in the community.

"This page was set up to facilitate all of those who wish to offer support and sympathy to the family of Jastine Valdez following her devastating death.

"The Valdez family….are facing a situation that no person on this earth should have to face. They are parents saying goodbye to their child.

The circumstances on how they lost their daughter are public knowledge. Any and all funds raised on this page will go directly to the parents of Jastine Valdez to help them in the weeks and months ahead.

Numerous messages of support from those making donations have already been offered to the young woman’s family.

One posted: “I am so very sorry for the tragic loss of your beautiful daughter jastine and wish you strength to cope in the days months and years ahead You will be in our thoughts.”

Another posted:“We are so sorry for the tragic loss of your beautiful daughter and wish you strength to cope in the days, months and years ahead. You will be in our thoughts.”

Eyewitnesses reported seeing Ms Valdez being bundled into a dark Nissan Qashqai on the R760 Kilcroney Road near her home in Enniskerry at 6.15pm on Saturday.

A 40-year-old man gardaí had been searching for in connection with the incident was shot dead by gardai in south Dublin business park on Sunday night.

He has been named as Mark Hennessy, a married father-of-two from Woodbrook Estate, Boghall Road in Bray, Co Wicklow.


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