Wed, Mar
19 New Articles

Memorial match to celebrate Joe Deacy’s life


HAPPIER TIMES The late Joe Deacy is pictured with Mayo footballer Lee Keegan.

Ger Flanagan

LAST August the family and friends of Joseph Deacy were plunged into turmoil when the Mayo GAA fanatic was found dead in the early hours of the morning outside a house at Gortnasillagh, Swinford.
Twelve months on the Deacy family, and his friends and club-mates at St Colmcille’s GAC in London, are still none the wiser to the events that unfolded on that night and are desperately seeking some closure into the ongoing investigation.
The homocide investigation into Joseph Deacy’s death is still being carried out by Gardaí.
But much to the despair of his family, it has stalled to the point where they are now taking it upon themselves to try and search for answers, while also celebrating his passions.
That’s why next Sunday, August 12, a number of events will be organised in Joe’s memory, including a Mass, a wreath laying ceremony and a memorial Gaelic football match.
St Colmcille’s PRO Shane Gill is hoping this memorial day will bring about some fresh information while also celebrating the life of their lost friend.
“The idea behind this day is as a memorial to our friend,” he said. “It’s a chance to rejuvenate the search for answers and an opportunity to celebrate Joe’s passions, which are football, in particular Mayo and West Ham United.
“Hopefully it might drag out any more information, large or small, of what happened.”
Then 21 year-old Joseph Deacy, from St Albans in England, was on a two-week holiday in Ireland visiting relatives and friends when his death occurred. Mr Deacy was socialising with friends in Kiltimagh, before returning to the house where he was staying at Gortnasillagh, just outside Swinford that night.
At 6.45am the following morning, Mr Deacy was found lying unconscious with head injuries in the driveway of the house. He was transferred to Mayo University Hospital and later to Beaumont Hospital, where he died from his injuries the following day.
A mass will be held in Bohola Church at 11.30am on Sunday, followed by the laying of a wreath at the house where Joe was found at 1pm. This will be followed by a memorial Gaelic football match at 2pm in Swinford Amenity Park, where his club St Colmcilles GAC, will take on ‘The Hammers’, a team comprised of Joe’s friends and family and named after his favourite soccer team, West Ham.
A promising GAA star with St Colmcille’s, PRO Shane Gill said their team-mate’s death has had a profound effect on the club.
“It has been very tough on us as a club, and extremely tough on Joe’s family,” he said. “Particularly being in another country, it’s hard not to feel detached from the situation, but Joe’s father [Adrian] is really pushing this.
“Joe has been a member of the club since he was underage and was a real promising player, a rising star in the team given he was so young. It has been tough to take, but we have soldiered on.
“We would encourage everyone to come out on Sunday and take part in what will be a celebration of our dear friend. Sunday will show how many people’s lives Joe had an affect on.
“Who knows who might know something, and this might help jog their memories and finally bring some closure for Joe’s family and friends.”



Listen now to our podcast