Limerick Voice journalists pay moving tribute to classmate Joe Drennan at student awards

Fellow journalists from the Limerick Voice paid a moving tribute to Joe Drennan, describing him as "the greatest friend anyone could ask for.”

The image shows a group of young people sitting on steps outside a building. In the front left of the image is Joe Drennan who's classmates paid tribute to him at an award ceremony. He is smiling and has short curly blonde hair. He has a ring in his nose. To his left is a girl with hoop earrings and heart-shaped sunglasses resting on her head.
Image: @joedrennan__ via Instagram

Journalists Molly Cantwell and Síofra Grant of the Limerick Voice paid a moving tribute to their fellow classmate and late Editor-in-Chief, Joe Drennan, at a recent awards ceremony held in Trinity College Dublin.

The Student Publication Association Regional Awards ceremony, which recognises excellence in student publications across the UK and Ireland, saw the Limerick Voice win top place in the Best Digital category, and its investigative reporter Gemma Good took home the award for Best Article. 

Cantwell was also honoured with a highly commended title in the category of Outstanding Commitment for her role as Managing Editor of the University of Limerick publication.

During the ceremony, Cantwell and Grant, an investigative journalist with the paper, read a moving tribute to their late colleague and friend, Joe Drennan, who was tragically killed in a hit-and-run on October 13, 2023.

Insisting that she could not let the awards pass without sharing her co-editor’s incredible vision and career, Cantwell said, “There are no words to describe the incredible sense of loss that Joe leaves behind.

“As a group of young journalists, you never expect to become the story, 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.”

She continued, “Joe 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.”

Paying tribute to Drennan’s work with GCN, she described, “He was passionate about his work with Gay Community News (GCN), and so determined to build a powerful future for himself. 

“We knew there was no doubt coming out of our degree that he would’ve been the one that got the job straight away. He would walk into anything with a strut and a hairflip and he was ready to go.”

Cantwell also assured the audience that she remains committed to “fighting the good fight for every under-represented voice as Joe would’ve wanted.” 


Grant began her tribute to Drennan, describing him as “the greatest friend anyone could ask for.”

She continued, “He tackled everything he put his mind to with pure determination and unflinching confidence, whether this be his writing or his relationships with others. Anyone who knew or even met our Joe came away with something to remember, something impactful.” 

She also paid tribute to his journalistic talent. “He had this same attitude when it came to his journalism: no story was too small and no story was too big, and most importantly, no story was too challenging. 

“Joey had a knack for finding the most interesting things to write about, whether it be the furry community or BDSM, an LGBTQ priest at the height of the AIDS crisis in New York, and same-sex couples in Ireland fighting for parental rights.”

She concluded, “I had the honour of calling him my best friend, and losing him can only be described as losing a part of myself.”

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