Sunday 18 February 2018

Gardaí confident of arrests over the murder of young GAA supporter Joe

Young GAA player Joe Deacy with Mayo footballer Lee Keegan
Young GAA player Joe Deacy with Mayo footballer Lee Keegan

Ryan Nugent

Gardaí are confident of making arrests in their investigation into the murder of a young tourist in Mayo last weekend.

Young GAA player Joe Deacy (21), from St Albans, north of London, died of serious head injuries after being found unconscious in the driveway of the home he was staying in.

It is believed that Mr Deacy was in a serious condition when found by a cyclist passing the house in Gortnasillagh, Swinford, at around 6am on Saturday.

He was rushed by ambulance to Mayo General Hospital and subsequently transferred to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

However, his injuries were so severe that he was pronounced dead on Sunday evening.

Read More: 'Joe lived life to the fullest' - Tributes pour in for young GAA star (21) as gardai launch murder investigation

A senior source said: "There have been no arrests yet but enquiries are progressing and gardaí are following a number of lines.

"Gardaí have received great assistance from members of the public in relation to the tragedy."

Some CCTV has also been reviewed, which is assisting the investigation.

The authorities are also asking for anyone that may have been in the area who may have dash cam footage from their vehicles to contact the station in Claremorris, where an incident room has been set up.

The victim had family in the west, with his grandfather hailing from Bohora and a number of cousins running local businesses in the Swinford area.

Despite being born and raised in the UK, Mr Deacy was a die-hard Mayo GAA supporter, and would travel to Ireland for matches every summer.

Applause

He had been to both of Mayo's quarter-final clashes with local rivals Roscommon, and a close friend told the Irish Independent that he had a ticket for this weekend's All-Ireland semi-final with Kerry in Croke Park. A minute's applause is planned for the 21st minute of the match in memory of Mr Deacy.

Locals in Swinford were in a state of shock as the circumstances of Mr Deacy's death became clear - particularly given his close ties to the area.

Dolores Maye, who works in a local charity shop, said: "It's the first time something like this has happened around here as far as I can remember, and I've lived here all my life.

"We're all stunned, we didn't know the young fella, but I feel so sorry for his parents."

Local councillor Michael Smyth says the area will be feeling the repercussions of Mr Deacy's death for a long time.

"The community is in complete shock. Our garda station was downgraded a few years ago because of the low levels of crime in the area," Mr Smyth said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the young man's family."

Irish Independent

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