'He was very special' - champion boxer Kevin Sheehy killed in 'senseless' hit and run
- Kevin Sheehy had set his sights on representing Ireland at the 2024 Olympics
- Two men have been arrested in connection with his murder
Gardaí probing a hit and run that claimed the life of a talented Irish boxer have arrested two men in connection with his murder.
The body of Kevin Sheehy (20) was found on Hyde Road in Limerick city about 4.40am yesterday. Tragically, his fiancée is due to give birth to their first child in just five weeks.
Sources said one line of investigation was whether the boxer had been followed and specifically targeted when he was hit by a Mitsubishi Shogun.
Gardaí are satisfied this vehicle is the same 4x4 they recovered on the city's northside yesterday. Two men were arrested by gardaí in the midlands and were due to be brought to a Garda station in Limerick to be interviewed over Mr Sheehy's murder. Gardaí believe the two men, an 18-year-old and 28-year-old, were in the car when it hit Mr Sheehy.
It is understood that another man walking with Mr Sheehy was also injured in the incident.
It is believed Mr Sheehy was at, or near, a house party in the area in the early hours of yesterday. A strong line of enquiry is that the promising boxer, who was not involved in crime, became part of an altercation near this party.
At a media briefing at Roxboro Road garda station, Chief Superintendent Gerry Roche called for “calm” in the local community, where Mr Sheehy’s body was found.
He also issued a reminder to people that gardaí were actively investigating the matter.
Mr Sheehy had set his sights on representing Ireland at the 2024 Olympics.
The 20-year-old suffered catastrophic injuries in the hit-and-run incident. A post mortem will be carried out on his body today.
Asked whether gardaí believed the hit and run was deliberate, Chief Supt Roche said: “We are still looking at the circumstances of that and when we know more we will be able to tell you.”
He said gardaí had recovered a vehicle with an “English registration”, which they believe was involved.
“We have recovered the vehicle, it wasn’t burned out, and it has been removed for a technical examination.
“The vehicle involved was a black SUV Mitsubishi with a partial reg WV 52.”
Chief Supt Roche said the car “failed to remain at the scene and crossed the city after the incident”.
The black SUV was “found abandoned on the north side of the city near the Gaelic Grounds, in a residential area”.
Chief Supt Roche appealed for witnesses to contact gardaí locally on 061 214340 or via the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.
Mr Sheehy, who was one of three siblings, is survived by his parents, Kevin and Tracey, and his two sisters.
His boxing coach at St Francis Boxing Club, Ken Moore, broke down as he paid a heartfelt tribute to the “very talented” Olympic hopeful from John Carew Park in the city.
“He was the type of kid you could make a hundred tributes to. He was loved by everyone. He was very, very talented,” Mr 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 continued.
“It wasn’t just his skills – he was so dedicated. “As an athlete, he was very special, he was five-times Irish champion.
“The guy was never in trouble a day in his life.
“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 fiancée, since they were 15.”
Mr Moore said Mr Sheehy had just taken a break from boxing after he celebrated being crowned the Hull Box Cup heavyweight champion two weeks ago.
He described Mr Sheehy’s death as “senseless”.