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Deacy family withdraws from council talks over memorials

News

Anton McNulty

THE family of Joe Deacy has decided to no longer deal with officials of Mayo County Council over the removal of roadside memorials to the murdered man, describing their approach as ‘disingenuous’.
In recent weeks, members of the Deacy family and officials from Mayo County Council met to try to resolve the impasse over the removal of the roadside memorials to Joe Deacy. The memorials were removed by Mayo County Council on safety grounds in January shortly after they were erected over the Christmas period. The decision was denounced by members of the Deacy family, who described the action as ‘heartless’.
However, the subsequent meetings with the council have also drawn criticism from the Deacy family. Last week, Joe’s father, Adrian, released a statement saying he no longer wished to deal with the council on the matter.
“We confirm that we will now no longer be attempting to rectify a blatant wrong which has seen your council receive severe criticism locally, nationally and internationally.
“Our attempts to deal with you over the last five months in an open and honest manner has proved impossible given your disingenuous approach to the simple facts, and we no longer can bear the emotional stresses and strains involved.
“What started out as a small gesture by us, to erect two modest memorials in the location where Joe was murdered, simply in order that his relatives and many friends could remember him, has turned into something which we did not envisage and most definitely did not want.
“We also have been subjected to contemptuous dismissals of our various requests, and, at every stage we have not remotely been afforded the respect anyone dealing with your council should be afforded, irrespective of the subject matter.
“We therefore have decided that we can no longer maintain the façade put up by yourselves, that you are still in ongoing ‘negotiations’ with the Deacy family,” wrote Mr Deacy.

‘Obscene haste’
Joe Deacy (21), from St Alban’s, UK was found dead outside a house at Gortnasillagh, Swinford on August 12, 2017 and last December the Deacy family placed memorials close to where he was found dead. One memorial was placed along the N5 at Collagh, while another was placed at the Kinaffe junction on the R320.
Mr Deacy questioned how members of the council directly involved in making the decision to remove the memorials could have done so ‘with indecent and obscene haste’. He said the Garda investigation into his son’s murder is ongoing, and he asked anyone with any information to contact their local Garda station.
The removal of the memorials was raised by Independent councillor Gerry Ginty at last week’s meeting of Mayo County Council, when he said the decision to remove them was wrong. He asked for sensitivity in the matter and for some significant progress to be made in fulfilling the wishes of the Deacy family.