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Killer's mum dies just a month after victim's dad

A MURDERER'S mum has died suddenly -- just one month after his victim's father was killed by a heart attack.

In a bizarre coincidence, Helen Rowe Kennedy (47) died yesterday, also from an apparent heart attack.

She was the mother of Thomas Kennedy (25) who strangled Sheola Keaney (19) to death.

Her father Peter Keaney (47) also died of a suspected heart attack four weeks ago at his home in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Thomas Kennedy pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr Keaney's only child, Sheola, 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, 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, Co Cork, 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. "She was very upset to learn of Peter Keaney's death last month and it is ironic that she has now died so soon after him," one neighbour said.

At Mr Keaney's Requiem Mass in St Colman's Cathedral, friends said that his heart was broken by the murder of his only child in 2006.

It was unclear whether Kennedy will receive compassionate release from prison to attend his mother's funeral.