GARDAÍ have begun a murder investigation following the death of a 21-year-old man from the UK who died in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, at the weekend after being found unconscious on Saturday morning in the driveway of a house near Swinford.
The victim has been named as Joseph Deacy from St. Alban's, Hertfordshire. An autopsy by the State Pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy, revealed that 'a significant head wound' was a factor in his death.
He had been staying in a house in the townland of Derrynasillagh, Swinford, just off the N5, while the owners, who are relatives, were away on holidays.
At a press briefing in Claremoris Garda Station this evening (Tuesday), Supt. Tony Healy said that a post-mortem conducted by Professor Cassidy indicated the deceased had not died from natural causes.
Supt. Healy described the deceased as a frequent visitor to Mayo and said he had been due to return to the UK later this week.
Investigating officers are concentrating their investigation on the Derrynasillagh area and the town of Kiltimagh, about five miles away, where the deceased is believed to have been socialising on Friday night/Saturday morning.
They have appealed to the public for help in their enquiries.
“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,” Supt. Healy stated.
He added: “We are also looking for any CCTV, dashcam or mobile phone camera footage of any incident in which the deceased might have been involved.”
Mr. Deacy was rushed initially to Mayo University Hospital on Saturday and was later transferred to Beaumont Hospital, where he died on Monday.
His parents flew over from England and were with him when his life support system was turned off. It is understood body organs have been harvested for transplantation.
Locals in the Swinford and Kiltimagh areas are in shock over the death of a young man who visited the area frequently and was described as 'likeable and friendly'.
Michael Smyth, a Swinford-based Fianna Fáil councillor, said the death was a tragedy not alone for the family involved but the whole community.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and other relatives at this terrible time,” Councillor Smyth stated.
He added that while he did not know Joseph personally he knew of him as an ardent GAA fan who travelled home regularly to support his native Mayo and was also hugely interested in the fortunes of the Irish soccer team.
Gardaí have set up a special incident room at Claremorris Garda Station – the contact number is 094-9371222.