Thursday 18 October 2018

'Someone knows what happened to my beautiful boy' - dad of young GAA fan who 'died in a manner not befitting an animal'

Adrian Deacy hugs daughter Charlotte at a memorial for Joe. Photo : Keith Heneghan
Adrian Deacy hugs daughter Charlotte at a memorial for Joe. Photo : Keith Heneghan

Tom Shiel

The grieving father of a young man who was beaten to death in a Co Mayo town has appealed "to those who know what happened to my beautiful boy" to come forward.

Adrian Deacy led tributes to his only son Joe Deacy (21) at a Mass in the Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph in Bohola, Co Mayo.

Holding back his tears, Adrian Deacy said his son "died in a manner not befitting an animal".

Along with his wife Alison, and daughter Charlotte, Mr Deacy travelled from his home in Hertfordshire, England, for a Mass to mark the first anniversary of the death of his son.

The late Joseph Deacy pictured with Mayo footballer Lee Keegan
The late Joseph Deacy pictured with Mayo footballer Lee Keegan

Joe, 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.

Wound

He subsequently died in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, two days after he was found in the street.

Joseph Deacy died of serious head injuries
Joseph Deacy died of serious head injuries

An inquest found that a "significant head wound" was the cause of his death.

Despite an intensive Garda investigation, which is ongoing, nobody has ever been charged with the murder.

Two men were arrested in connection to Joe's death, but both were released without charge.

At yesterday's Mass, which was celebrated by Fr Stephen O'Mahony, Adrian Deacy described the last year as "a living hell" for his family.

He told an overflow congregation, which included more than 120 people who had travelled in solidarity from Hertfordshire, that there was "no light at the end of the tunnel".

Mourners

Crimestoppers are appealing for information about the death of tourist Joe Deacy
Crimestoppers are appealing for information about the death of tourist Joe Deacy

The Deacy family believe someone is withholding information that could lead to a breakthrough in the murder case.

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.

Watched by the crowds, family members laid a wreath and a decade of the rosary was recited.

Irish Independent

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