FIFTH ANNIVERSARY The late Joe Deacy.
Family’s fight for justice continues
Five years after the death of Joe Deacy, his family are still immersed in a nightmare. The 21-year-old from St Albans in England was discovered dying in the driveway of a house in Gortnasillagh near Swinford in the early hours of August 12, 2017. He passed away in hospital the following day.
Since then a shroud of mystery has surrounded the unexplained death and today the family, the gardai and a former cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council are asking people with information to be brave and come forward.
“It gets worse every day. The pain is almost unbearable at times. It’s five long years and we haven’t been able to even start the grieving process yet,” Joe’s uncle, Paul Deacy told The Mayo News.
“This was a young lad full of the joys of life who was left to die like a dog on the side of the road. He had blunt force trauma to his head and there are people out there who know exactly what happened. How can they live with themselves? Do they not realise the pain and torment his family are experiencing every minute of every day. This pain will not ease until we know the truth.”
Mr Deacy’s words have been backed up by Councillor Brendan Mulroy who has taken a strong interest in the case. The former Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council visited the Deacy family in Britain recently and has pledged his ongoing support for truth.
“This is a great county and we’re great people. That’s why we have to help the Deacy family find the truth. It’s frightening to think that a young man died here among us and nobody will come forward and tell the truth. We will not give up on this. We will never let it lie and I’ll be joining his friends on Friday next at 2.30pm to climb The Reek in his memory.”
Fight for justice
One of those friends, Shane Gill, the PRO of St Colmcilles GAC in St Albans, is determined to keep the fight for justice at the forefront of people’s minds in Mayo.
“The Deacy’s are very dear to us and we see the torment they’re going through. We want justice done and we will do everything we can to make that happen. Joe was our friend and team-mate. He was a great lad and a very proud Mayo fan. He loved telling everyone about Mayo and what it meant to him. It’s so sad to think that he was left to die on the side of a road in the county he loved so well.
“I’ll never forget the day he died. We all gathered in the pub here in St Albans trying to make sense of it and five years later we’re all still searching for that truth.”
The search for closure is an ongoing one for the Deacys and gardai in Mayo have assured them that Joe’s death is at the forefront of their thoughts.
“The case is very much open and active and we’re appealing to anyone with information to come forward. Time has passed and now may be the time to come forward with any information which will help us,” Detective Superintendent Joe McKenna told The Mayo News.
A number of events have been planned to mark the fifth anniversary of Joe’s death including a climb of Croagh Patrick at 2.30pm on Friday, a memorial walk to the place he was found dying on Saturday at noon and a memorial football match in the Connacht GAA Air Dome at 3.20pm on Saturday.