Tuesday, September 01, 2020

In August 2017, 21-year-old Joe Deacy was found in the driveway of an East Mayo home with serious head injuries. He died later.

by Keith Bourke

The heartbroken family of Joe Deacy has vowed to continue their campaign for justice after it received the devastating news that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) would not be bringing charges against his suspected killer.

“I was at my grandfather’s funeral when the news came through,” Joe’s sister Charlotte told the Western People yesterday. “It was just complete disappointment. We had known this was the likely outcome but there was something almost sickening about it when it finally came to pass. It was really hard to swallow.”

The GAA-mad 21-year-old, from St Alban’s in England, was a regular visitor to Mayo, and his grandparents were originally from Bohola and Swinford.

Joe was on holiday in East Mayo when he was found unconscious outside a house between Swinford and Bohola at 6.30am on August 12, 2017. He died the following day in Beaumont Hospital. A murder inquiry was launched after a post-mortem found that Joe had died due to blunt force trauma to the head.

The DPP ruled that there was insufficient evidence to bring any charges. Joe’s family is examining the possibility of requesting a review of the decision taken.

The DPP decision means a long-awaited inquest can finally take place. It may be next year before the inquest is held.
“That we hope will allow us to get a few more answers and hopefully learn a little bit more about what happened,” said Charlotte.

She said the wall of silence that has met the investigation into her brother’s death has had a devastating effect on the Deacy family.

“I lost a brother, and it’s crippling and I can’t imagine what it’s like for my mum and dad to lose their only son.”

She said every time they launch a fresh appeal for information and witnesses, and then it falls on deaf ears, it ‘feels like a fresh bullet hole’, but their campaign will continue and they hope someone who knows something will come forward.

“The bravest thing you can do is tell the truth. I would urge anyone who has a sibling or a child to put themselves in our shoes and think about what they would want to happen. Not knowing is crippling,” Charlotte added.

Joe’s uncle Paul Deacy said their fight for information and justice will not be halted.

“We won’t give up. We will look for justice, however long it takes. The campaign won’t stop,” said Paul.

He questioned how those with knowledge of what happened to his nephew can stay silent.

“How do you sleep at night?” Paul asked.

The investigation into the death of Joe Deacy remains ongoing, and Gardaí are continuing to appeal for people with information to come forward.

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