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Murderer's mum dies one month after victim's father

THE mother of a convicted murderer died suddenly yesterday -- almost exactly a month after the unexpected death of the father of the young murder victim.

In a bizarre coincidence, Helen Rowe Kennedy (47) died yesterday from a suspected heart attack at her home in Cobh, Co Cork -- four weeks after Peter Keaney (47) also died from a suspected heart attack at his home in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Mrs Kennedy's son, Thomas (25), pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr Keaney's only child, Sheola (19), five years ago.

Sheola -- who was Kennedy's ex-girlfriend -- was strangled by him as she walked home from a party in the Cork harbour town in July 2006.

He then dumped her body behind Cobh Pirates rugby pitch. Sheola's body was discovered under plastic sheeting three days later.

After initially denying a murder charge, Mr Kennedy pleaded guilty to the teen's murder before the Central Criminal Court in December 2006. He is now serving a life sentence.

The body of Mrs Kennedy was discovered yesterday by one of her children at her Cobh home.

Friends last night described Mrs Kennedy as a devoted mother and wife who was absolutely devastated by the tragic events of five years ago.

Irish Independent