The memorial that was erected to the late Joe Deacy.

No 'genuine explanation' for removal of road memorials

THE father of 21-year-old Joe Deacy who died from head injuries after being found unconscious outside a house near Swinford in 2017 has welcomed the proposal that all existing roadside memorials in Co. Mayo are to be allowed to remain.

In a statement at the weekend, Adrian Deacy, who is based in Hertfordshire, England, said the ruling 'shows a degree of compassion'.

However, Mr. Deacy remains strongly critical of the local authority for removing two roadside memorials erected in memory of his dead son, claiming once again that the council has been 'disingenuous' over the removal.

The council say the memorials were 'a visual distraction to motorists', that they had received complaints about them, and prior approval had not been sought from the council before they were erected.

The council has refused to allow the reinstatement of the Deacy memorials but, in response to the controversy over the issue, has published a draft policy on roadside memorials.

The policy proposes that existing roadside memorials erected in close proximity to locations where fatal collisions have occurred will be allowed to remain.

In its draft policy document, the council says roadside memorials have the potential to become a road user hazard and, accordingly, a site-specific risk assessment will be required to be carried out at all proposed locations before planning permission is granted.

The draft policy, which will next be debated at a full meeting Mayo County Council, proposes the debarring of large permanent physical structures (such as monuments and shrines) along a carriageway and advises they should be removed on safety grounds.

Joe Deacy, who was visiting from England, was found with head injuries in a driveway of a house in Gortnasillagh, Swinford, in the early hours of August 12, 2017. He was taken to Beaumount Hospital where he died the next day.

A post-mortem examination determined he had been murdered.

Despite intensive garda investigations nobody has yet been charged in relation to the crime.

Mr. Deacy claimed his family has still not received a 'genuine explanation' for the removal of their memorials and 'do not expect to do so in the near future'.