Tributes to British GAA player killed in Mayo as gardaí launch murder investigation
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Tributes to British GAA player killed in Mayo as gardaí launch murder investigation

A MURDER investigation has been launched by gardaí after a British man discovered with serious head injuries in a Mayo village died.

Joseph Deacy, 21, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, was found seriously injured outside a house at Gortnasillagh, Swinford, Co. Mayo on Sunday morning.

Gardaí and emergency services attended the scene after the keen GAA player was discovered by a passer-by at around 6am.

Mr Deacy was taken by ambulance to Mayo University Hospital and later removed to Beaumont Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Sunday evening.

State pathologist Marie Cassidy carried out a post-mortem examination and gardaí confirmed on August 15 that the death was being treated as murder.

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Mr Deacy’s GAA club in Hertfordshire paid an emotional tribute to the 21-year-old following news of his death, describing him as a “great friend with a bright future.”

In a statement posted on their Facebook page, St Colmcilles GAC said: “Joe 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.

“He 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.”

"At 21 years of age, 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."

The club added: "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.

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"You will always be remembered by all of us here at the club, your friends and teammates." Mr Deacy was on holiday from Britain visiting a friend, according to RTE.

His parents flew over from Hertfordshire following news of his hospitalisation and were with him when his life support system was turned off.

At a press briefing on Tuesday evening, Supt Tony Healy said that a post mortem conducted by Professor Cassidy indicated the deceased had not died from natural causes.

He described Mr Deacy as a frequent visitor to Mayo and said he had been due to return to Britain later this week.

He added that detectives were now trying to piece together his movements and those he was with late on Friday and in to Saturday.

“We are seeking information from members of the public as to any assault, row or altercation they might have witnessed on Friday night/Saturday morning,” he said.

“We are are also looking for any CCTV, dashcam or mobile phone camera footage of any incident in which the deceased might have been involved”.

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

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