Man to appear before court to face additional charges in connection with death of UL journalism student

The late Joe Drennan.

A MAN is due to appear before Limerick District Court later this morning to face additional charges in connection with the death of University of Limerick journalism student Joe Drennan, who was killed in a hit and run last year.

Mr Drennan (20), from Mountrath in County Laois, was killed while waiting at a bus stop on Limerick’s Dublin Road when a car hit him on October 13 last. The driver fled the scene.

Kieran Fogarty (20), of Hyde Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick City, appeared in court in January charged with dangerous driving causing Mr Drennan’s death, driving without insurance, and driving without a licence.

This morning, Gardaí confirmed, he is to face additional charges.

At a bail hearing last January, Gardaí alleged that moments prior to the fatal hit and run, Mr Fogarty was seen driving a black coloured BMW “dangerously” and “at speed”.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

Mr Fogarty overtook a Garda patrol car at speed as he travelled from Annacotty towards Limerick City, the bail hearing heard.

Gardaí said they activated their patrol car’s blue lights and sirens and followed Mr Fogarty “at a safe distance”, but that Mr Fogarty continued at speed, broke a red light, and collided with a white Volkswagen car, injuring the male driver and female front seat passenger.

Then the BMW allegedly mounted a kerb near a bus stop and struck Mr Drennan, who was killed.

Gardaí claimed Mr Fogarty “failed to remain at the scene and failed to render assistance to Joe Drennan”.

“The DPP is considering further serious charges,” Detective Garda Shane O’Neill, Roxboro Road Garda Station, told the hearing.

Mr Drennan, an editor-in-chief at the University of Limerick student newspaper, Limerick Voice, was shortlisted for Journalist of the Year at the 2023 Student Media Awards.

His mother, Marguerite Drennan, told the student newspaper last month that “a light has gone” out in her family since her son’s death.

In the wake of his death, the UL journalism school launched the Joe Drennan Memorial Competition for Inclusive Journalism to recognise journalism that enhances understanding of marginalised communities.

Mr Drennan was shortlisted for Journalist of the Year at the National Student Media Awards last year, which recognised his contributions to GCN (Gay Community News), where he completed his third level journalism work placement.

“He wanted to change the world, he was so determined and focused and knew exactly what he wanted from life; there is no doubt in my mind that he would have succeeded because he wasn’t afraid to go for it and work hard,” his mother said.