Man charged in connection with death of queer Irish journalist Joe Drennan

Joe Drennan, GCN journalist and friend, was tragically killed in a hit-and-run incident in Limerick on October 13, 2023.

A photograph of the late Joe Drennan. He is shown from the shoulders up and slightly smiles at the camera.
Image: Instagram

A man has been charged in connection with the death of Joe Drennan. The 21-year-old student and GCN journalist was killed in a hit-and-run incident at around 9:30pm on October 13, 2023, while he waited at a bus stop on Dublin Road in Castletroy.

The suspect, Kieran Fogarty, was arrested on the morning of Tuesday, January 16, and brought before the Limerick District Court. There, he was charged with dangerous driving causing the death of Joe Drennan, as well as having no insurance or license.

The 20-year-old, who lives with his parents and siblings, is reported to have made no reply after being cautioned. His solicitor, Darach McCarthy, applied to have a bail hearing heard in-camera, which Judge Carol Anne Coolican refused, saying, “Justice needs to be administered in public”.

Mr McCarthy also asked that his client be granted legal aid due to the “seriousness of the matter”, which the court official approved. Proceedings were then adjourned until the bail hearing later on Tuesday afternoon.

It was then that Detective Garda Shane O’Neill of Roxboro Garda Station made a case on behalf of the State in opposition to bail based on the nature and seriousness of the alleged offences.

He told the court that on October 13, a patrol car was overtaken at speed by a BMW which Fogarty was driving. The officers are reported to have followed and witnessed “reckless and dangerous driving”, which included the car allegedly driving through a red light before colliding with a white Golf. The impact of the crash caused the rear wheel of the BMW to detach from the vehicle and injure the driver of the Golf.

Detective Garda O’Neill continued by telling the court that Fogarty then allegedly lost control of the car, mounted the footpath and fatally injured Joe Drennan. The State then accused the suspect of exiting the car and fleeing the scene. Facebook messages sent by Fogarty in which he discussed the incident and mentioned wiping down the inside of the car were also referenced.

Judge Carol Anne Coolican refused the bail application and remanded the man in custody until the next hearing on January 23, where he will appear via video link. 

From Mountrath in Co. Laois, Joe Drennan was a promising young journalist and a delightful person. He carried out his studies at the University of Limerick, where he was also the Editor-in-Chief of the Limerick Voice.

Joe was a regular GCN contributor, both online and in print, and spent several months interning with the organisation. As described by magazine editor Peter Dunne, “He was confident and focused and completely reliable. He was also incredibly sweet, funny, gracious, and so, so cool.”

Peter added, “You could say his voice being silenced is a loss to the writing community, the queer community, his hometown, but none of those would say enough. It is the world’s loss.”

GCN extends our love to Joe’s family at this time.

© 2024 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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