Memorial to young GAA fan who died of head injuries vandalised in Mayo
Gardai in Mayo have launched an investigation after the memorial of a man who died of a "significant head wound" last year was vandalised on Wednesday night.
Joseph Deacy, who was third-generation Irish, was subjected to a fatal assault while on a two-week holiday in his ancestral home of Swinford, Co Mayo.
He was discovered outside a house at Gortnasillagh, Swinford, Co Mayo, at around 6am on Saturday, August 13, 2017.
He subsequently died in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, two days after he was found in the street.
An inquest found that a "significant head wound" was the cause of his death.
Friends of Joe had placed flowers and other tributes to him this week on the N5 near Bohola in Mayo to mark a year since his passing.
The Garda have said that the vandalism occurred sometime between 9pm on August 15 and the morning of August 16 this week. The case is being investigated by the Gardai in Swinfield.
Yesterday morning, MidWest Radio tweeted photographs showing what happened:
The disgraceful images of the wreaths and flowers commemorating the late Joe Deacy, laid on the anniversary of his death last weekend, that were vandalised late on Wednesday night/early Thursday morning along the N5. https://t.co/HnKqp5eFMh pic.twitter.com/EgqaeGr1vZ— Mid West Radio (@radiomidwest) August 17, 2018
Despite an intensive Garda investigation, which is ongoing, nobody has ever been charged in connection with Joe’s death.
Two men were arrested in connection to Joe's death, but both were released without charge.
Last week, Joe’s family travelled from England to attend a Mass that marked the one-year anniversary of Joe’s death. The mass was attended by a large number of people.
The Deacy family believe someone is withholding information that could lead to a breakthrough in the murder case and has urged people to come forward.
At the mass, Joe’s father Adrian Darcy appealed for anyone with any information on his son’s death to come forward and say something.
He said: “Someone knows what happened to my beautiful boy.”
Mr Deacy urged mourners that instead of praying for Joe, they should redirect their prayers "to those who know what happened my beautiful boy".
"Without doubt (those persons) are also suffering. Hopefully someone, somewhere, possibly in this parish, will have the courage to come forward."
Following the memorial mass, hundreds of people - many of them from St Colmcille's GAA Club in Hertfordshire, for whom Joe Deacy played with distinction - joined locals in walking with the family to the location where the young footballer was discovered.
They carried placards which proclaimed, 'Justice for Joe' and 'Someone Knows What Happened" before dispersing later to a memorial GAA match in the dead youth's honour in nearby Swinford.