herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Gardai appeal for dashcam footage in Joe (21) death probe

Joe Deacy was discovered in the driveway of a house
Joe Deacy was discovered in the driveway of a house

Gardai are closing in on making an arrest as part of their investigation into the tragic murder of a young tourist in Co Mayo.

Rising GAA star Joe Deacy (21), from St Albans in north London, died of serious head injuries after being found unconscious in the driveway of the home where he was staying during a visit here.

It is believed Mr Deacy was in a serious condition when found by a cyclist going past the house in Gortnasillagh, Swinford, at about 6am on Saturday.

"There have been no arrests yet but inquiries are progressing and gardai are following a number of lines," a source said.

"Gardai have received great assistance from members of the public in relation to the tragedy."

Footage

Some CCTV footage has been reviewed, which is assisting the investigation.

The authorities are also asking for anyone that was in the area and may have dashcam footage from their vehicles to contact the station in Claremorris, where an incident room has been set up.

The victim had family in the west, with his grandfather hailing from Bohola and a number of cousins running local businesses in the Swinford area.

However, it is understood he was staying at a friend's house and not with relatives during the two-week trip here.

Despite being born and raised in the UK, Mr Deacy was a die-hard Mayo GAA supporter and would regularly travel over for matches every summer.

He had been to both of Mayo's quarter-final clashes with local rivals Roscommon, and a close pal told the Herald he had a ticket for this weekend's All- Ireland semi-final with Kerry at Croke Park.

Mayo supporters on both sides of the Irish Sea have shown their support in order to give him a fitting send-off, with a minute's applause planned for the 21st minute of the match.

Mr Deacy had been socialising in the nearby town of Kiltimagh last Friday evening and went back to Gortnasillagh, where he was later found in a serious condition.

He was rushed by ambulance to Mayo General Hospital and subsequently transferred to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

However, he was pronounced dead on Sunday evening.

Locals in Swinford were in a state of shock as the circumstances of Mr Deacy's death became clear.

Dolores Maye, who works in a local charity shop, has lived in the area all her life.

"It's the first time something like this has happened around here as far as I can remember, and I've lived here all my life," she said.

"We're all stunned. We didn't know the young fella, but I feel so sorry for his parents."

Meanwhile, jewellery store owner Ray Lambe said he had heard of a death but had no idea it was something sinister.

"I'd heard it might have been some sort of accident or horse play," he said.

St Colmcilles GAA club paid tribute to Mr Deacy, who was considered to be a rising star.

"Joe had a bright future ahead of him," a statement from the north London club said earlier this week.

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