Five people have been sentenced to prison in relation to the robbery and murder of Co Mayo man Tom Kennedy in Gori, Georgia in October 2021.

Central Georgia’s Gori City Court sentenced four individuals to 20 and 21 years in prison for the group robbery and murder of Irish citizen Tom Kennedy last year, the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia announced on June 20.

Another person, a minor, was also sentenced to six years in prison for failing to report the crime.

Kennedy, 28, was born in Manchester to Irish parents; the family moved back to Co Mayo in Ireland when he was two years old. The talented musician had reportedly only been in Georgia for a few weeks before his tragic death. He is survived by his parents and six brothers, including his twin brother Pat. 

On October 10, 2021, police confirmed that they had arrested and charged five people in relation to the death of Kennedy. 

Four of the people detained were charged with premeditated murder committed in a group under aggravated circumstances, while the fifth was charged with not reporting the crime.

Police say they established that on October 7, 2021, the group was drinking alcohol in one of the underground passages of the town of Gori and were joined by Kennedy. The group proceeded to a local bar where a confrontation took place.

After the confrontation, the group went to an area near the Mtkvari River where Kennedy was physically assaulted by the other members of the group. Kennedy, who was unconscious, was thrown into the river by the other members of the group “to conceal the traces of crime.” The group fled the scene afterward.

On October 8, the day after the incident, Kennedy’s body washed ashore by the Mtkvari River near the village of Kvakhvreli in Gori Municipality.

In the wake of his death, Kennedy's family launched a GoFundMe to help "get him to his beloved home of County Mayo" to be buried. It ultimately raised more than €62k.

On October 27, Kennedy’s funeral was held at St. Patrick’s Church in Lahardane, Co Mayo. During the service, Father John Reilly told the congregation that Kennedy "radiated goodness, beauty, and kindness to all he met and came in contact with.”