Taoiseach condemns recent killings of two women

The Taoiseach led Dáil tributes to Ana Kriegel and Jastine Valdez whose senseless and brutal deaths he condemned and said had shocked the country.

Speaking at the commencement of Leaders' Questions, Leo Varadkar expressed his sympathies and the sympathies of his Government to the families of the victims.

Mr Varadkar said he joined with others in condemning the “senseless and brutal crimes we have seen in the past few days and which we condemn unreservedly”.

He said: “Although nothing we can say will bring Ana Kriegel or Jastine Valdez back, I hope we can provide some reassurance to the many young women and families out there who are scared and concerned.

"I particularly recognise An Garda Síochána for its very swift action in dealing with these two terrible crimes.”

Mr Varadkar added: “I thank the Defence Forces and the Civil Defence as well for the assistance they gave the civil authorities. A GSOC investigation is underway for reasons that people will understand.

"The Department of Justice and Equality is contacting the families with a view to assisting them. The Tánaiste has made contact with the Philippine embassy to see if there is any assistance we can provide.

"The National Educational Psychological Service has sent a team to Ana Kriegel's school to assist the children there for whom it must be a difficult and shocking time.”

Mr Varadkar said the two killings were discussed at Cabinet this morning.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin paid tribute to the work of the Gardaí and emergency services in both cases.

Mr Martin said: “I wish to begin by acknowledging the hurt and absolute devastation being experienced by the Kriegel and Valdez families over the past number of days. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

“Both Ana Kriegel and Jastine Valdez were taken violently and brutally and their families and communities have been left broken-hearted. I pay tribute to the gardaí and first responders for all they are doing in such very devastating and traumatic situations,” he said.

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald and Solidarity TD Brid Smith also expressed their sorrow and outrage at the two killings which have shocked the country.

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