The picturesque village of Enniskerry came to a standstill on Tuesday evening as the local community and members of the Filipino community gathered foe a candle lit vigil in memory of local girl Jastine Valdez.
Local TD John Brady asked for people to pray for the parents of Justine not just today but when everyone is gone, that people won’t forget going forward.
He also asked people to remember the members of the Hennessy family who are also experiencing a hurtful time.
Local parish priest Fr.Bernard Kennedy said ” Our hearts are touched by the Filipino people, there is a wonderful bond between the Irish and the Filipino community, anybody who knows them or works with them know of their gentleness and their nature. They are an addition to our society. Jastine was a beautiful soul and our hearts are hurting and we want you to know that.”
During the minutes silence all could be heard was the birds as they sang on a beautiful summers evening.
Filipino priest Fr.Rene wished to remind the Irish people that despite the tragic events which had unfolded over the week-end, there is a special bond between the Irish people and the Filipino community. “Since I arrived here 13 years ago, all I hear are good things about us the Filipino’s. What has happened will not change our view of the Irish people.” he then went on to read a prayer in Filipino, he thanked the Gardai, Civil Defence, Defence Forces, Media and the wider community for all there help in what is a difficult time for the Valdez family.
Archdeacon Ricky Rountree also thanked the community of Enniskerry, while a cousin of Jastine paid tribute to Jastine saying “The most painful goodbyes are the one’s that are never said and never explained”.
The family who reported the first incident to gardai were also in attendance.
A local woman told Wicklownews “The community is in total shock, I would see Jastine almost everyday as she made her way down to the bus, she always spoke and was a beautiful little girl, she cared for elderly people in the community and they loved her, I just can’t stop thinking as she went up the hill on Saturday evening it would be her last time, why?, why?, why? is all I keep asking myself.”
“What has happened in our county in the last week, poor Jastine and that 14-year-old girl in Leixlip last week,”
A memorial Gofund me page has reached over €100.000 if you wish to donate visit Jastine Valdez memorial fund