Help me find my GAA-mad son's killer, begs distraught dad
The father of a young Englishman murdered in Co Mayo last summer has pleaded for locals to come forward, insisting "somebody knows something", as gardaí issue a fresh appeal for information.
Avid Mayo GAA supporter Joseph Deacy (21), from St Albans in the UK, was killed after suffering a blow to the head following a night out socialising with friends.
The tragic victim was found outside a home in Gortnasillagh - just outside Swinford - by a cyclist passing by in the early hours of August 12, 2017.
He had been out with pals in Kiltimagh the night before.
He was taken to Mayo General Hospital before being transferred to Beaumont Hospital with serious head injuries, where he later died.
Gardaí say they have taken more than 300 statements as part of their investigation and are following 400 lines of inquiry.
In a desperate appeal for information five months after his death, Mr Deacy's father Adrian told RTÉ's 'Crimecall': "Someone knows something...How they can live with themselves knowing what they know and still carry on living like they do," he said.
"He was my life. We had a tremendous bond. It's gone."
Mr Deacy was a regular visitor to Mayo due to strong family connections and his love for the county's football team.
He had been due to attend the All-Ireland semi-final clash with Kerry the weekend after he was killed, and had been staying in Gortnasillagh with a friend during his time in Ireland.
"He had friends all over the place. If you had a Venn diagram with Joe in the middle of it, you'd have seven or eight different circles around it, and that's purely because of his personality," his father said.
His cousin Lauren Murray said seeing Mr Deacy in Mayo was a regular occurrence.
"He had great pride in his Irish connections… Mayo GAA was a big part of it," she said.
"At least five or six times a year, he'd be over for the Mayo games."
His sister Charlotte explained the pain the family felt upon hearing the devastating news. "I just remember seeing my dad...and he just crumbled," she said.
Superintendent Tony Healy of Claremorris garda station told the Irish Independent that gardaí firmly believe the answers lie within the local community.