The funeral of Thomas Kennedy, the Irishman killed in Georgia earlier this month, will take place on Wednesday.
Thomas, who was from Co Mayo, was found dead in a river on October 9 in Gori, a city in eastern Georgia.
The 28-year-old is said to have got into a physical argument with five local men. Four out of five were charged with the murder of Thomas, one charged with not reporting the crime.
Police said the five defendants had been drinking with Thomas in a town bar, but a verbal altercation later broke out that resulted in a brawl.
The Mayo man was allegedly attacked by the group who took his cell phone out of his pocket and then dumped his unconscious body into the nearby Mtkvari River in Gori.
(Image: GoFundMe / Olivia Barrett)
Police discovered Thomas’ body on October 9, with his cell phone found in a pawn shop a few days later after his alleged murder.
The incident is believed to be “a robbery gone wrong,” with the five defendants claiming he fell into the river in Gori while trying to escape after a row.
A GoFundMe campaign to repatriate Thomas and cover all expenses related to his tragic death has raised more than € 60,000.
He has now been returned to Ireland and will be buried in Co Mayo on Wednesday.
His family said the happy and lively young man’s life was tragically cut short.
A message on RIP.ie reads: “Tom Kennedy, Massbrook, Bofeenaun, Ballina, Co Mayo, October 7, 2021.
“This happy and lively young man’s life was tragically cut short at the age of 28, before his little sister Catherine, grandma Mary Kennedy and grandfather Sean Barrett.
“He is deeply mourned and missed by his heartbroken mother Cathy, father Eddie, brothers Sean, James, Chris, Pat (his twin), Jack and Noel, grandmother Ann Barrett, grandpa John Kennedy, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces , Nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.
“May his gentle soul rest in peace.”
Thomas’s family said he “brought brightness with him wherever he went and to everyone he met in his life’s journey,” so they ask people to wear colored clothes to his funeral.
“Tom brought brightness with him wherever he went and to everyone he met in his life’s journey. As a family, we want everyone to wear some color in their clothes to celebrate their lives, ”they said.
His funeral mass will be held on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Church in Lahardane.