A powerful and moving video by one of Joe Deacy’s closest friends, paying tribute to Joe and calling for his killer to give themselves up, has been viewed over 52,000 times on social media.
Tom Connolly, who shared a love of Gaelic football with Joe, was inspired to make the three-minute video in response to the social media reaction surrounding the memorial walk in Mayo to mark the third anniversary of Joe’s death.
On 9 August, family and friends of Joe laid flowers outside of the house in Gortnasillagh, near Swinford, where his body was discovered at approximately 6:30am on 12 August 2017.
He died the next day at a Dublin hospital – he was 21.
It’s the third time Joe’s family and friends have undertaken the walk.
Tom posted his video ‘Three years on and still no answers’ on 14 August. Going to print, it’s been shared more than 900 times and prompted a huge number of responses.
“I’m totally shocked by how many people have viewed the video and I’ve been flooded with messages,” said Tom, who plays Gaelic football for Neasden Gaels.
“I’ve been contacted by people from all over Ireland – people who didn’t even know Joe – asking what happened, and what was he like? It’s been so nice to see.
“And people who knew Joe have been sharing their memories of him.”
He added: “I wanted to tell the story and for people to understand how much of an injustice this is. This has been going on for three years and people should know.”
Tom first met Joe was he was 15.
“He was such a nice genuine person. He would never hurt anyone. There wasn’t a bad bone in his body – he just wanted to befriend everybody,” he said.
“For him to be brutally murdered is just horrible – he didn’t deserve that.”
Until Joe’s killer, or killers, face justice, and the truth is known about how Joe was murdered, Tom says there’s “cloud hanging over his family and friends”.
“The Deacy family has gone through absolute torture these last three years,” he said.
“We want to find out what happened so we can celebrate Joe’s life and remember him for the person he was, and not for the brutal way he was murdered.”