Family of murdered GAA star ‘need to find answers’

The family of a young GAA player murdered in Mayo has made a fresh appeal for information on the first anniversary of his death.

Family of murdered GAA star ‘need to find answers’

By John McCarthy

The family of a young GAA player murdered in Mayo has made a fresh appeal for information on the first anniversary of his death.

Joe Deacy’s uncle Paul says “someone knows” why Joe was found in the driveway of his friend’s house a year ago.

The 21-year-old, of Butt Field View, St Albans, Hertfordshire in England, was on a two-week visit to his family home in Ireland when he was beaten to death.

He was discovered outside a house at Gortnasillagh, Swinford, Co Mayo, on August 12 last year by a passer-by.

His mother, Alison Thebald, who was at the anniversary Mass with her husband, Adrian Deacy, and daughter Charlotte over the weekend, had told Dublin Coroner’s Court in her written deposition last November: “I was advised that the cause of death was a single blow to the head.”

Gardaí in Mayo arrested two men in their 20s in connection with the death, but they were released without charge.

Joe’s uncle Paul said the family will never stops looking for the truth.

“‘Horrific’ is the only word I can use to sum up the last year.

My father is the shadow of the man he used to be; him and Joe were so close,” he said.

“There was a Mass held in Bohola for Joe and Adrian went up to the altar and made a passionate plea to stop praying for Joe now and pray for the people who are not coming forward.

“We need to find answers,” he said.

“It’s disappointing for a tight community like in Mayo that people aren’t coming forward.

“There will never be closure, Joe will never be forgotten, it will help to get the answers on what happened that night.”

Joe’s father, Adrian, told parishioners in the Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph that his son “died in a manner not befitting an animal”.

Mr Deacy had said that mourners should pray for “those who know what happened my beautiful boy”.

“Without doubt (those persons) are also suffering,” he said.

“Hopefully, someone, somewhere, possibly in this parish, will have the courage to come forward,” said Mr Deacy.

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