A murder investigation has been launched after a 20-year-old man was killed in a suspected hit-and-run incident in Limerick.
Kevin Sheehy, who was a champion boxer, died after he was knocked down on the Hyde Road at around 4.40am on Monday.
He died at the scene after he was hit by a black SUV, partial registration plate number WV52, which left the scene.
Gardai said the SUV was recovered on the north side of the city in a residential area near the Gaelic grounds.
The area was preserved and examined by scene investigators.
The vehicle was not burnt out and has been removed for technical examination.
The victim, from John Carew Park in Limerick, was taken to University Hospital for a post-mortem examination.
He was due to become a father for the first time in five weeks.
On Monday evening, the Garda announced that two men had been arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the incident.
The pair, who are in their late teens and early 20s, are being detained at a Midlands Garda station, a spokesman said.
“Gardai continue to appeal for anyone with information on the incident, particularly anyone in the area around the time of the collision, who may have dash cam footage, to contact them at Roxboro Road Garda Station on 061 214 340, the Garda confidential line at 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station,” he said.
Earlier Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche said: “An incident room has been set up at Roxboro Road garda station and the we are awaiting the results of the post mortem examination which is due to be carried out on Tuesday morning.
“We are currently examining CCTV in the area and conducting house to house enquiries and I want to appeal to anyone who was in the Hyde Road area this morning at approximately 4.40am or anyone who is in position to help us with our investigation to contact the incident room on 061 214340 or the garda confidential line at 1800 666 111.
“I would also ask that the driver of the vehicle contact us and come to Roxboro Road garda station or any garda station to speak to us.
“I would also ask that people in the community remain calm at this time and I want to reassure them that the matter is being fully investigated by the gardai in Limerick.”
His coach Ken Moore described Kevin as a “very special person”, who was an “extremely talented” athlete.
“He had a huge self drive,” he added.
“He was one of the nicest young men, he was mannerly and courageous and respected everyone. He will be a huge loss to the boxing club.
“He won five Irish titles, four in the last year and he is a current under 22 champion.
“The High Performance picked him out as being one of the athletes expected to go to the 2024 Olympics. He was working so hard and was living the right life. He was everything you wanted in a young person.
“He was so excited to become a father and often talked about it.
“He was a young lad and it was the first time he went out in Limerick in three months. He went on a night and hasn’t come home.
“This happens to a lot of young people and if it’s at someone else’s hand it has to stop. We have to put measures in place and cannot allow this to keep happening.”
He appealed to any one with information about the suspected hit-and-run to come forward.
He added: “There was a lot of people in the area so they know who the person is, so come forward and give some hope to his family. You took a brilliant life and he was destined for great things and that is all gone in a moment of madness.
“Come out and stand up and say he did not deserve this.”
Tributes have been pouring in on social media for Kevin, who was a member of the St Francis Boxing Club.
In a Facebook post, the club said: “One of the toughest days ever in the history of our club.
“We will open the club this evening between 6 and 7pm for any of our members or friends that want to come along and chat about this tragedy or just be around others that are feeling the same loss.
“There is nothing to gain bottling up these feelings and emotions so come along and have a chat or tell a few stories in a safe environment.”