TAKEN AWAY Mayo County Council have said the memorial to Joe Deacy had no planning permission and was a visual distraction to motorists.
Adrian Deacy, the father of the late Joe Deacy, has slammed the ‘disingenuity’ of Mayo County Council for removing the roadside memorials dedicated to his son.
This comes after the Council published a draft policy on roadside memorials erected at locations close to places where fatalities have occurred – which will be put before elected members of Mayo County Council.
Director of Services for Mayo County Council, Tom Gilligan told last Wednesday’s meeting of the Roads and Transportation Special Policy Committee (SPC) that the draft will not impact existing memorials erected by members of the public.
Mr Gilligan expressed his sympathies with the Deacy family – a number of whom were present at the meeting, including Adrian – but he said there is an onus on the council to ensure that the public roads are safe for all users. He said there had been ‘a number’ of complaints about Joe Deacy’s memorial from members of the public, and claimed it was a ‘visual distraction’ to road users.
However, Adrian Deacy, who has previously expressed his disappointment at the council’s decision to remove the memorials without giving any forewarning to the family, does not accept the explanation for the removal.
“Relating directly to Joe’s memorials, I personally have a theory as to what has occurred over the past few months,” he said in a statement to The Mayo News. “And after attending a meeting this week with the Council [Executive], along with other members of my family, I regrettably have not had my opinion changed.
“My previous belief that, at best, there still persists a level of disingenuity from the council on this matter which is barely credible, still remains firm.
“The questions we have continually raised as to why Joe’s memorials were removed are, to date, still being answered in a dishonourable and illogical manner. I am now of the opinion that we will not receive a genuine explanation for this behaviour in the near future.
“However, one day I hope that what I believe to be the actual real reasons for what has occurred will come to light, and at that time, to all of the persons who have aided and abetted in the memorial removal, and the ensuing apparent deceit, I wonder then, as to how you will be able to face yourself in the mirror.”
Twenty one year-old Joe Deacy was found unconscious outside a house at Gortnasillagh, Swinford in August 2017 and later died. No one has been charged with his murder.
Adrian Deacy went on to explain that he is ‘relieved’ that the policy being implemented by the council ‘displays a degree of compassion’. He also wanted to say that his comments were not directed at the ‘hardworking employees of the Council’, stressing that his critical remarks did not extend to the ‘vast majority’ of employees.
The draft policy prohibits the erection of large permanent physical structures, such as monuments and shrines, along a carriageway and says that such structures shall be removed on safety grounds.