Murdered boxer was future Olympian with positive influence on youth, coach says

Man found guilty of killing Kevin Sheehy (20) by repeatedly running over him in Limerick in 2019

Like a real-life Rocky Balboa, Kevin Sheehy used the boxing ring to punch his way through from the potential pitfalls of growing up in a deprived area as he rose to become a champion in the sport.

At aged 15 years the John Carew Park native considered turning his back on sport, but the allure of Limerick’s St Francis Boxing Club changed all that.

By 19, and under the tutelage of coach Ken Moore, Sheehy had dispatched with competitors across all levels, winning national titles at U18, U22 and Senior level, and was earmarked as a future Olympian.

Moore said he will never forget the first time Sheehy walked into the club looking for guidance: “Kev came to me when he was 15, and he had become a little bit disillusioned with sport and his dad asked me would I take him on — it was either come to us or he was packing it in — so I said I’d give him a chance and we became very close and very successful.”


“You can teach a guy to box, but they have to have a natural drive and hunger from somewhere to push themselves to the limit they do, and Kevin had this in spades,” he added.

Moore proudly watched from ringside as his prodigy broke through to elite competitions, European and World Championships, and how just a week before his death, he won a gold medal at a multi-nations competition in Eastern Europe.

“He was a young man who was progressing well, not only as a boxer, but as a person. He was on the podium-squad for the high-performance system, they had Kevin earmarked as a potential Olympian for 2024 in Paris,” said Moore.

“The hardest part of it is that I cannot forget the last three times I dropped Kevin home from sparring or competition, and as we were driving down towards Kevin’s house — it is a rough area, an underprivileged area, especially the kids they’re out on the road — and they always waved into the car at Kev as we were going past, even the adults.”

“All these kids were waving at him like he was a superstar because here was a guy from their area, here was a guy that was going somewhere, here was a guy who was showing them that there is another way.”

“Several weeks before he was taken from us we were up in his former primary school, CBS Sexton Street, giving a talk to the kids and it took us 40 minutes just to get out of the room because the kids were asking him every question under the sun — just to be near him.”

Moore said the death has been hard: “We were very, very close, and it’s been very tough. We just try to drive on the club as best we can, but no one will ever take Kevin Sheehy’s place, that will never happen.”