Emma Langford and Molly Cantwell release charity single in memory of Joe Drennan

LIMERICK artist Emma Langford and journalist Molly Cantwell have collaborated on a Christmas charity single, covering Joni Mitchell’s ‘River,’ with all proceeds going to Gay Community News (GCN). GCN, a vital LGBTQ+ resource, has been serving the community since 1988 as a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model.

Joe Drennan

The inspiration for this endeavour stems from the tragic loss of Limerick Voice journalist Joe Drennan, who was fatally injured in a hit-and-run on October 13, 2023. 

Described as a talented journalist and a “voice for the voiceless,” Joe’s untimely death has left a profound impact on his family, friends, and colleagues.

Molly Cantwell, reflecting on Joe’s promising career and vibrant personality, emphasised his dedication to his work with GCN and as the Editor-In-Chief of Limerick Voice. 

“Joe was destined for greatness. He was a force to be reckoned with. His passion, talent, charisma, and absolute grá for his work was so evident in absolutely everything he did,

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“There are no words to describe the incredible loss we constantly feel as a class and as a group of young journalists. You never expect something like this to land on your doorstep, to read an article that’s about the loss of your dear friend, or to be lost for words when it’s words that brought us all together.”

Emma Langford by Celeste Burdon

The choice of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ for the charity single holds sentimental significance, as Molly selected the song while walking along the Shannon River, a place cherished by Joe. Emma Langford, a prominent figure in the Irish folk and songwriter scene, enthusiastically joined the initiative, leading to an outpouring of support from the Limerick creative community.

Contributors to the charity single include plethora of Limerick friends. Aaron Griffin (Waterdogs) joins the pair on guitar, Nora Casey on harp, Emer O’Flaherty on piano, and Aoife Hennessy on backing vocals/harmonies. 

Molly Cantwell. Copyright Miguel Ruiz.

The track was recorded by Chris Quigley in studio space donated by Dylan Flynn and the Dead Poets, mixed by Marty Ryan of Anna’s Anchor, and mastered by Richard Dowling at Wav Mastering. The single artwork was designed by the wonderful, Limerick-based, Tiffany Glenn.

The charity single, ‘River,’ will be exclusively available on Bandcamp until 2024, after which it will be accessible on all streaming platforms.

 This decision aims to maximise fundraising during the Christmas season of 2023.