Hit and run victim Joe Drennan to be laid to rest on Wednesday as Gardaí continue search for driver of car involved

The late Joe Drennan.

“INSPIRATIONAL” student journalist Joe Drennan, who was killed in a hit and run in Limerick last Friday night, is to be laid to rest this Wednesday.

Mr Drennan (21), from Knocknagad, Mountrath, County Laois, was standing waiting at a bus stop when he was struck and killed by a car which had collided with another car on the Dublin Road in Castletroy, County Limerick.

The driver of the car that struck and killed Mr Drennan remains the subject of a Garda search after they fled the scene immediately after the fatal collision.

As Gardaí had interacted with the car earlier on the night, the matter has been referred to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

A GSOC spokeswoman said it “received a referral from An Garda Síochána during the early hours of Saturday, 14 October, following a road traffic incident in the Annacotty area”.

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“The referral was made by a Garda Superintendent under section 102(1) of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005. The matter is now under examination by GSOC and no further comment will be made at this time,” the spokeswoman added.

Gardaí are understood to be investigating whether there are any links between parties involved in the fatal hit and run and the discovery of a vehicle on fire in Corbally earlier on the same night.

A Garda spokeswoman said Gardaí were investigating “an incident of criminal damage by fire of a car” and that their “enquiries are ongoing and no further information is available at this time”.

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, joined others in offering condolences to Joe Drennan’s family and friends and his fellow students at University of Limerick (UL) where he was Editor-in-Chief of UL’s student newspaper, the Limerick Voice.

Mr Drennan was shortlisted for Student Journalist of the Year last April.

The head of his journalism course at UL, Dr Kathryn Hayes, said: “We are absolutely devastated in the journalism department and in the wider UL community to learn of the tragic death of our student Joe Drennan. Our heartfelt sympathies are with Joe’s family at this terrible time and all of his classmates and many dear friends.”

Ms Hayes said Mr Drennan had been “an inspirational student and a hugely talented young journalist, who had a bright career ahead”.

“He was passionate and creative and will be sorely missed by all of us who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him,” Ms Hayes added.

A tweet from Minister Harris’s read: “Sending my sincere sympathy and thoughts to all in UL and to Joe’s family and friends on this devastating news. I know the university community is grieving and we grieve with them at this very sad and difficult time.”

A letter emailed to staff and students by the President of University of Limerick, Professor Kirstin Mey, stated: “We hold Joe’s family in our thoughts, our sympathies go out to all of Joe’s journalism classmates and lecturers, to his housemates, friends and fellow UL students and the many others who will be so devastated by his loss.”

Gardaí appealed for “any road users who were travelling in the area of Dublin Road, Castletroy, Limerick on Friday 13th October, between 9pm and 10pm, and who may have camera footage (including dashcam)” to make the footage available to investigators at Henry Street Garda Station on 061 212 400, the Garda Confidential Hotline on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

Mr Drennan’s remains will repose at his home Knocknagad (R32XE29) this Monday and Tuesday evening from 5pm-8pm.

His removal takes place on Wednesday for 3pm Requiem Mass at St Fergal’s Church, Camross, County Laois (R32VY79), followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

Mr Drennan is survived by his parents Tim and Marguerite, sisters Sarah, Ava, and Marie, and brothers Richard, John, and Kieran.