Family's grief as Irish builder dies in Africa car-jack

Ralph Riegel

TRIBUTES have been paid to a young Irish construction worker shot dead in a suspected car-jacking in Mozambique.

William Deasy, (32) from Dublin Pike in Cork, was killed as a group of armed men attempted to steal his vehicle.

It is believed Mr Deasy died after being hit by at least two bullets in the shooting on Friday on the Moma to Maputo Road in the east African country.

He had been working as a quantity surveyor in Mozambique with Irish engineering firm, Kentz, for the past 18 months.


Mr Deasy's story was today described as "one of those typical success stories of a hard-working young man".

His Clonmel-based employers extended their deepest sympathy to his family.

"We can confirm the death of a team member who was on project assignment in Mozambique ... his family has been informed and we are in close contact with them during this dreadful time.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and express our sincere condolences to the family, relatives and friends of our deceased team member.

"A full investigation is under way by local police authorities in Mozambique."

Mr Deasy is the son of Paddy and Bina Deasy and has two brothers and sisters. His father is a respected official with Cork GAA club Glen Rovers.

Mr Deasy, who also runs a successful plumbing business, told the Herald they were too upset to comment on the tragedy.

Neighbour Eoghan Hannifin described the deceased as "a lovely fellow".

"You would often see him walking his dog and he'd always say 'hello'.

"He was very friendly. People are shocked and are unsure as to exactly what happened.

"William was very well liked in the community....all the Deasys are. It's unbelievable. It's a real tragedy," he said.

Glen Rovers GAA club secretary, Jude O'Callaghan said the death was "heartbreaking" for such a tight-knit family.

Mr Deasy qualified as an electrician and then returned to Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) to study quantity surveying.

He found work with Kentz, which employs more than 14,000 staff and has operations in 29 countries worldwide.

It specialises in civil engineering and construction projects, usually in the mining, oil, gas and petrochemicals sectors.

Arrangements are now being made to fly Mr Deasy's remains back to Ireland from the Mozambique capital, Maputo.

Local politician, Fianna Fail councillor Kenneth O'Flynn, said the Deasy family were "shocked and devastated" at the tragedy.

"The family are very decent and respectable and are very well liked here.

"They're all devastated and shocked.

"He had a very big job and they were all very proud of him at home.

"It was one of those typical success stories of a hard-working young man," he added.

Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said: "I want to first of all express my sympathy and the sympathy of my department.

"It's a very sad occasion and my thoughts are with his family and his friends.


"Our embassy is handling the situation and is working with the family and with the company that the man worked for."

The Irish Ambassador to Mozambique, Ruairi de Burca, is now liaising with Mr Deasy's employer.

In its travel advice for Mozambique, the department warns that car crime, including car-jacking, is on the increase and recommends that car doors are kept locked at all times when driving.

Motorists are also warned watch out in case they are being followed.