IABA mourns the passing of John Keenan, Christopher Stokes and Wojcieck Panek.

Olympic BC Head Coach, Mike Mongan, with John Keenan and Christopher Stokes.

The Irish Boxing Family continues to join with Olympic Boxing Club Galway and the families of John Keenan, Christopher Stokes and their friend, Wojcieck Panek, following Friday’s terrible tragedy.

John (16) and Christopher (19) were members of Olympic Boxing Club, and were with their friend, 17 year old Wojcieck, when a car entered the water at Menlo Pier in Galway on Friday evening. John and Christopher were former Galway County Champions and their club has paid tribute to them:

It’s with deep pain, heartbreak and sorrow that the untimely and tragic death has occurred of one of our boxers John Keenan early hours this morning.

John has been with us at Olympic BC since he was 10years after following his brother Martin Sammon through our doors.

John had always had a big smile on his face and would go out of his way to do anything for anyone, He never let anything get him down.

Our sincerest and heartfelt condolences goes out to John’s Brother Martin, his Mother Elizabeth and his brothers and sisters.

May his soul and the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace amen 💙🙏🏼

Olympic Boxing Club

And, the club added

Devastating tragedy 💔💔

Rest in Peace to both club members Christopher Stokes and John Keenan, Both exceptional young men and too young to go. Rest in perfect peace boys, we’re all broken hearted.

Our broken heartfelt condolences goes to Anthony and Kate Stokes and Family 💔💙💔💙

Olympic Boxing Club

Speaking to the Irish Times, Olympic BC Secretary John Mongan said

“It is a very dark day for us. John was a lovely, lovely kid. It was easy to get on with him. He was very decent. He would offer to go to the shop if you needed anything. He was so helpful. Our hearts are broken over John.

“He boxed two weeks ago in the county championships and won that. It was a great battle. And the following week, last Sunday in Castlerea, he boxed again and was beaten. But he was gracious about it.

“He was in the club again on Wednesday training and he shook it [the loss] off. He was looking forward to the next tournament. A loveable kid.” and, he added “Christopher was with us a few years back and he took time out as young lads do. And then I passed him (recently) and he said he wanted to rejoin. I told Christy to come back. He was getting ready with the guys for the next tournament coming up.”

Galway ABB says “boxing has been shaken by the tragic passing of John Keenan and Christopher Stokes overnight. Both young men were well loved members of Olympic BC and were honoured with a moments silence at this morning’s Connacht Championship. Our thoughts & prayers are with their families, friends, coaches and club mates.”

Condolence have been shared with Olympic BC and the young men’s loved ones from across the boxing community:

Ulster Boxing Council send deepest condolences to the families of the two young men and all at Olympic Boxing Club Galway on the tragic loss of life. We keep all involved in our prayers at this awful time. RIP John & Christopher 🙏🏻🥊

Ulster Boxing Council

The Members of the Co. Mayo Board extend deepest condolences to the family, friends and clubmates of Olympic B.C. members John Keenan and Christopher Stokes who lost their lives in tragic circumstances in the early hours of this morning in Galway.

May their souls rest in eternal peace🙏

Mayo Boxing Board

County Antrim Boxing send deepest condolences to the families of the two young men and all at Olympic Boxing Club Galway on the tragic loss of life. We keep all involved in our prayers at this awful time. RIP John & Christopher 🙏🏻🥊

County Antrim Boxing IABA

The Connacht Boxing Council would like to extend their heartfelt sympathies to the Keenan and Stokes families on the tragic sudden passings of John Kennan & Christopher Stokes. Our sincere condolences to the Coaches and members of the Olympic Boxing Club at this very difficult time. May their gentle souls rest in peace💔💔🙏🙏

Connacht Boxing Council

Connacht Boxing Council and Castlerea BC, hosting this weekend’s Connacht Championships, have erected this tribute to John Keenan and Christopher Stokes today:

Image: Galway ABA

Funeral arrangements for the young men have not yet been published.

IABA President, Gerry O’Mahony, says “These young men, their families, friends and Olympic Boxing Club are in the thoughts of every member of the Irish Boxing family. This is an unspeakable tragedy, affecting many families and several communities. May John, Christopher and Wojcieck rest in peace”

A Garda investigation is to this terrible tragedy is continuing – Gardaí are appealing to anyone who has information that can assist with the investigation to contact them on 091-538000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station.