The mother of slain boxing star Kevin Sheehy has told how she feels the young champion has been brought home after he was immortalised this weekend in a beautiful mural on the wall of his boxing club.
Tracey Tully spoke in the pouring rain as the 10ft high painting of her 20-year-old son, was unveiled, by his boxing coach, Kenneth Moore and his wife, Marion outside St Francis Boxing Club in Limerick city.
She watched the uncovering of the mural alongside his father, Kevin Sheehy Sr, and her son’s fiancé, Emma, who brought her daughter, Kevaeh, born at the start of August, weeks after her father was killed in a hit-and-run incident.
Both parents of the five-time boxing champion spoke of finding comfort in the midst of their grief in the birth of his baby girl.
His boxing coach, Kenneth Moore, told emotional family and friends “the champ has come home” as drapes covering the black and white portrait of the handsome young boxer in his prime were pulled back at the entrance of the club.
“It was like they brought him home. I’m very proud to have the mural in St Francis,” said Tracey.
“It is beautiful to know he is here. I just want to thank Marion and Ken for all they’ve done.
“It is his second home since he was a young lad. He did most of his training here.” She said it was a very emotional day for their family.
“It is very hard to put into words. We always knew he was very special. He was very kind, he had a beautiful personality, he was so positive. I’m very proud to be his mother.”
She said Kevin’s daughter, who was at the unveiling with her mother, Emma, is “thriving”.
“She is a little champ like her daddy,” said Tracey. “Not many people get that, so we feel very blessed.
“She’s so like him. We’re very close, we’re all sticking together through it day by day, it’s only day by day.
“Her [name] is heaven spelled backwards with a K and drop the N. That came to us the night we brought him home and we were laying him to rest because they hadn’t confirmed a name. So it’s Kevaeh Sheehy.”
She says the name also means ‘thank you’ in German, which is very fitting when it came to her son.
“That’s all he ever used to say, ‘thank you, thank you’. We used to nickname him ‘thank you’ because he was just so thankful for everything.”
Ken, who commissioned the mural from ADW Artists, said a local councillor, Frankie Daly, had received an anonymous donation from a local business to fund the mural on the all of one of Ireland’s oldest clubs.
“When Kevin was taken from us, we wanted to do something to keep his spirit alive and we decided there should be a mural of Kevin in his hometown,” said Ken.