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Thursday 14 November 2019

Hero teen's parents in Brazil to take body home

Anne-Marie Walsh

THE family of an Irish teenager who drowned while trying to save a friend has travelled to Brazil to bring his body home.

Timothy Kennelly's parents, Rosemary and Diarmuid, who are originally from Wexford, will return to their home in Ealing, west London, with their son's remains later this week following his tragic death.

Timothy (19), who was bass player with the London band After Death, was born in the UK but held an Irish passport.

He died while trying to save his bandmate Leon Villalba (21) who died after getting into difficulty while swimming off a treacherous section of the Brazilian coast.

The men died last Thursday on Atalaia Beach in the north- east state of Sergipe while taking a break from a tour.

Their three surviving bandmates have vowed to complete the remaining dates of the tour, in which they are playing support for the band Master, in honour of their friends.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said it was providing consular assistance to the family. "Mr Kennelly's family has travelled to Brazil and will soon return to the UK with the body," he said.

He had joined the heavy metal band six months ago after leaving Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in Shepherd's Bush. He has a twin brother.

A family friend paid tribute to the teenager, who was on a gap year and due to start a physics degree at York University in September. Edward Doyle told a London newspaper that Timothy's parents were devastated by the news.

The band was only a week into the tour when tragedy struck.

Drummer Barry O'Connor (22) described Mr Kennelly as a "great guy all round".

"Tim straight away made a massive impression . . . he was full of information, loved a laugh and was on cloud nine."

Irish Independent

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