Police turn to social media in hunt for attacker

Joseph Deacy st comcilles herts gaa community shocked
Joseph Deacy (pictured right)

Gardaí are using social media to trace together the last movements of Joseph Deacy, in the search for the St Albans GAA footballer’s murderer.

Gardaí are looking through social media posts and appealing for any video footage of Mr Deacy and his friends which may assist with their investigation.

The 21-year-old member of St Colmcilles GAA club was found with head injuries in Swinford, Co Mayo, at approximately 6am on 12 August by a passer-by outside a house at Gortnasillagh.

Gardaí and Emergency Services attended the scene and Mr Deacy was taken by ambulance to Mayo University Hospital, and later removed to Beaumont Hospital.

He was pronounced dead on the evening of 13 August. Members of his family travelled to Mayo from Hertfordshire and were at his side when his life support machine was turned off.

A post-mortem examination was carried out by Professor Cassidy and Gardaí have confirmed that they have now launched an investigation into Mr Deacy’s death.

A forensic examination of the scene has been carried out and an incident room set up at Claremorris Garda Station.

In a statement on St Colmcilles’ Facebook page, the club paid tribute to their teammate, saying: “Joe had a bright future ahead of him. He had an amazing energy and a real lust for life. He was a great friend and people were drawn to his character, his humour and outlook on life.

Joe loved playing Gaelic Football and being a part of the senior team here at St. Colmcilles.

He had fantastic ability, great pace and was always a threat in front of goal. He has been a key member of the squad in recent years and has been very important to the success that the team has achieved recently.

It is difficult to say goodbye to anyone at any age but, when it happens to someone so young, it is especially difficult. He will be sorely missed by us all.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe’s family and friends at this time.

You will always be remembered by all of us here at the club, your friends and teammates.”

Gardaí superintendent John Healy told reporters that Mr Deacy was in Ireland on a two-week stay.

Friends in Mayo

“He was over here, he has friends over here so he has been over and back on a regular enough basis,” he said.

“They had been out socialising on the Friday night in Kiltimagh . . . They returned to the private house and the passer-by alerted the family that there was a youth lying in the driveway. He had an injury to his head as the result of an assault.

“They went home after a night out and they continued a bit of socialising in the house that they were staying in.”

Gardaí are appealing to anyone with information to contact Claremorris Garda Station on 094-9372080 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800-666-111.

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