The decision to remove road-sign memorials in memory of the late Joe Deacy, who died in August 2017, is expected to be discussed at a meeting of Mayo County Council’s Road and Transportation SPC this week.
The removal of the two memorials in January by the Council, near to where Mr Deacy died, on road safety grounds, was criticised by members of the Deacy family who felt it was done in ‘a heartless manner’.
The Road and Transportation Strategic and Policy Committee (SPC), who meet this Wednesday, will be asked to consider the adoption of a policy in relation to the matter of managing roadside memorials, in the interest of road safety. Members of the Deacy family are expected to be in attendance at the meeting.
Adrian Deacy, father of Joe had previously written to Cllr Brendan Mulroy, Cathaoirleach of the SPC, to outline his concerns over the removal of the memorials by the Council. He added that since the removal of the memorials he has not received a satisfactory explanation from Mayo County Council for their actions.
“We find the responses received to date have been full of unconsidered untruths and insulting. We expect as a minimum that answers to the above [questions] are issued in a timely manner, [and] an apology for the approach to dealing with this matter is issued by an appropriate officer of Mayo CC [County Council],” he wrote.
Joe Deacy (21) from St Alban’s, UK and whose grandparents were from Swinford and Bohola, was found dead outside a house at Gortnasillagh, Swinford on August 12, 2017. He died as a result of head injuries which resulted in gardaí opening a murder investigation. Despite a number of subsequent arrests, nobody has been charged with his killing.
The two memorials were erected over the Christmas at locations close to where Joe was found dead. One of the memorials was placed along the N5 at Collagh while the other was at the Kinaffe junction on the R320.
At the time, Mayo County Council said that a floral tribute which was placed along the N5 in August 2018 had received a number of complaints as it was seen as a distraction. Based on this, they decided to remove the memorials.
Mr Deacy said the memorials were a great source of comfort for their family and friends who live in the vicinity of Bohola and they were ‘eternally grateful’ to the local communities who ‘continually replace the flowers and maintained the memorial’.