Sunday 25 August 2019

Heartbreaking scenes as boxing champ laid to rest

'I love you always, my perfect boy. Love Em' - grieving fiancee pays tribute to Kevin Sheehy

TRIBUTES: Mourners at the funeral of Kevin Sheehy at Holy Family Church, Southill, Limerick, yesterday
TRIBUTES: Mourners at the funeral of Kevin Sheehy at Holy Family Church, Southill, Limerick, yesterday
Kevin Sheehy. Photo: Barry Cregg/Sportsfile
Olympic boxing medalist Michael Carruth. Photos: Don Moloney

Lynne Kelleher

The heavily pregnant fiancee of boxer Kevin Sheehy told his funeral Mass yesterday of the boxing champion's determination to become the best father to their baby girl.

Mourners packed into the Holy Family Church in Southill, Limerick as they tried to come to terms with the senseless loss of a talented young boxer who was chasing an Olympic dream and was weeks from becoming a father for the first time.

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In a heartbreaking letter, Emma Colbert said she didn't know how she was going to live without him.

The note to her "beloved Kevin" was read out to mourners by her mother, Trisha. In this, the 20-year-old expectant mother said she found it hard to describe her pain.

She said: "The thought of going through life is unbearable and I don't know how I'm going to do it. We had so much planned for us and our baby girl and I know how excited you were to become a daddy.

"The goals you set yourself in life were not the average 20-year-old's, but there was nothing average about you.

"You were the most positive person ever, especially over the last few months. You were determined to be not only the best boxer you could be, but also the best daddy to our daughter."

The 20-year-old heavyweight died in the early hours of last Monday after he was struck by a car on the Hyde Road in the city.

Emma Colbert, who had been in a relationship with the boxer since she was 15, said their love was "unbreakable".

She said: "You will always be my whole world. My life is nothing without you in it. You made me the proudest girlfriend in the world with all you achieved inside and outside the ring.

"From your hair to your smile, from the way you walked and talked, there is nothing that wasn't perfect about you. Kev, please give me the strength I need because I don't want to be in this world without you. I love you always, my perfect boy. Love Em."

There was palpable grief as the coffin, draped with the blue and white colours of Kevin Sheehy's St Francis boxing club, was carried into the church. Emblems from the Olympic hopeful's career were laid on the altar with his boxing boots, gloves, his last medal and one of his promotional posters with the words 'Keep Swinging Kev'.

Tribute after tribute was read out, but one of the most poignant was from his cousin, Thomas Sheehy, who was with the boxing champion on the night he died, but was unable to attend the funeral.

Stacey Tully read out the note on his behalf: "You were the most loving, kindest cousin I had. You were my youngest cousin but I always looked up to you and the person you became... We were always so proud of you."

Logan Jackson (29), of Coventry, England, appeared before Limerick District Court last Wednesday charged with the boxer's murder.

Sunday Independent

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