Parents of Jastine Valdez thank Irish people for support following daughter's death

Parents of Jastine Valdez thank Irish people for support following daughter's death
Jastine Valdez

The parents of Jastine Valdez have spoken publicly of their daughter's tragic death for the first time.

Danilo and Teresita have thanked the Irish people for their kindness and generosity during their deeply tragic time, saying "we can never repay their kindness".

"We are not angry at Ireland for what happened," they told Miriam O'Callaghan on RTÉ Radio 1.

"Whatever was going on in his mind was only in his mind and it's not for us to blame Ireland, Ireland has been good to us."

Raymond Garrett, Vanda Brady, Miriam O'Callaghan, Teresita and Danilo Valdez.
Raymond Garrett, Vanda Brady, Miriam O'Callaghan, Teresita and Danilo Valdez.

Tess told Miriam that the day that Jastine was abducted and murdered by Mark Hennessy, she rang her daughter when she hadn't arrived home by 5.30pm that evening.

Tess said she was worried about her and when she came home from work that day she sat down and prayed that her daughter would be back soon.

"When she didn't come home around 7.30pm I knew," Tess said.

There was this gut feeling inside me, I knew that something was wrong, something terribly wrong had happened.

Tess said she kept collapsing with worry as the evening progressed.

On the Sunday evening the gardaí came to their home to say that they had found Jastine's body.

The following morning the Gardaí told the Valdez family that Mark Hennessy had murdered their daughter.

"We didn't like that he was killed. It didn't change anything. When we found out that he was killed it didn't ease the pain at all," they said.

"It didn't matter, Jastine was gone and we were also sad that he passed away.

"We felt bad that he was killed straight away, quite quickly. We wanted to find out what was running in his head, we wanted to know more about why.

"We were quite disappointed that he was killed.

There are a lot of questions in our minds, we wanted to know more about why he had to do such a terrible thing.

Mark Hennessy
Mark Hennessy

The couple has returned to Ireland from the Philippines and said much of the €145,000 raised for the family on GoFundMe was spent on Jastine's wake.

"It'd be great to get more support from the community again," Vanda Brady, the couple's translator, said, noting that they are starting a new life in Ireland with no jobs and no home.

"It's hard enough that we lost Jastine."

Jastine's parents found comfort in a letter three weeks after her death that she had written to them but which was never sent.

Parents of Jastine Valdez thank Irish people for support following daughter's death

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