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Two males arrested on suspicion of murder after boxer is killed in hit-and-run

Gardaí are investigating if the incident was deliberate.

Kevin Sheehy
Kevin Sheehy
Image: Brian Keane/Inpho

Updated Jul 1st 2019, 9:05 PM

TWO MALES HAVE been arrested over the hit-and-run which claimed the life of a talented Irish boxer earlier today.

The males, aged in their late teens and late 20s, are currently being detained at a midlands garda station on suspicion of murder.

Gardaí are investigating if the incident was deliberate.

Garda sources earlier said they are probing whether Kevin Sheehy may have been specifically targeted by another male, as part of “several lines of enquiry”.

They also confirmed that they are monitoring all airports and ferry ports as part of the investigation. 

It is understood that a short time prior to his death, Sheehy (20) had left a house party where he had gone while celebrating Limerick’s Munster Hurling Final victory over Tipperary yesterday evening.

Sheehy’s body was discovered at around 4.40am at Hyde Road on the south side of the city. He had suffered fatal injuries following a hit-and-run, gardaí said.

Garda sources said they believe they have found the vehicle involved in the fatal incident.

A black Mitsubishi Shogun jeep was seized by gardaí on the north side of Limerick. This vehicle will be examined forensically to confirm whether or not it is the car that was involved in the fatal incident.

Gardaí have appealed for anyone with information about the incident, particularly anyone who was in the area around the time and who may have dashcam footage, to contact them at Roxboro Road Garda Station on 061 214 340, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

The State Pathologist is to conduct a post-mortem on Sheehy’s body at University Hospital Limerick.

Sheehy, a member of the St Francis Boxing Club, was not involved in criminality and had dedicated his life to boxing, his coach Ken Moore said.

The deceased champion boxer was due to become a father in five weeks.

“He was the type of kid you could make a hundred tributes to. He was loved by everyone. He was very, very talented,” Moore said.

Tipped for the Olympics 

“As an athlete, he was very special, he was five times Irish champion, he is a current under-22 champion, which he has held for the last two years, even though he is only 20 years of age,” Moore explained.

He was tipped by Bernard Dunne High Performance as an athlete they were looking at for the 2024 Olympics. He had everything going for him. The guy was never in trouble a day in his life, even though he was from a rough area.

Moore described Sheehy’s death as “just senseless”.

“Boxing was his life and his life was changing because in five weeks’ time he was due to have a baby girl. He’s only 20, but he’s with Emma, his fiancé, since they were 15.”

“They were having a baby and it was all set up good for them.”

‘The best fighter I’ve trained since Andy Lee’

Sheehy had just taken a break from boxing after celebrating being crowned the Hull Box Cup heavyweight champion one week ago.

“He had a couple of weeks off, because we are just back from England where he won another big international competition. He was getting four or five weeks off from me before we went back and made a serious assault on the league title,” Moore said.

In these sort of situations everyone says (the deceased) was a special person, but this kid just had something special. He had that x-factor. He’s the best fighter I’ve trained since Andy Lee. He was special. It wasn’t just his skills – he was so dedicated.

“It had been his goal to win the Hull Championship which he did. He told me over there that he hadn’t drank (alcohol) in 11 weeks in the build up to it because he wanted to get this right and because he wanted to live right, and because he wanted to succeed in his sport – not only for himself, but for his family and for his baby girl.”

Sheehy is survived by his father Kevin, mother Tracey and two sisters.

“He was just a great kid, he really was. I loved him. It’s a sad day,” Moore added.

With reporting by Órla Ryan 

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