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Drennan was one of UL’s rising journalism students and he was shortlisted for Journalist of the Year at the 2023 Student Media Awards.
Limerick

Seven additional charges for man charged over fatal hit and run of student Joe Drennan

Drennan was waiting at a bus stop on Dublin Road when the car hit and killed him.

A MAN WAS charged today with failing to offer assistance to a student he had allegedly knocked down and killed in a hit-and-run last year.

Kieran Fogarty (20) with an address at Hyde Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick, who was previously charged with dangerous driving causing the death of University of Limerick journalism student, Joe Drennan, was hit with seven additional charges at Limerick District Court.

Drennan, (20), from Mountrath, Co Laois, was waiting at a bus stop on Dublin Road, Limerick, when a car ploughed into him, killing him, and the driver fled the scene, on 13 October last.

Kieran Fogarty initially appeared in court last January, charged with dangerous driving causing Drennan’s death, driving without insurance, and driving without a licence.

Today, Fogarty was arrested by gardaí and charged with seven additional charges including failing to render assistance to Drennan knowing he was seriously injured or dead; dangerous driving; failing to report the fatal collision as soon as possible, knowing Drennan was incapacitated; failing to provide gardaí with appropriate information, and causing criminal damage to a vehicle.

Prosecuting Garda Sergeant Sean Murray, Roxboro Road Garda Station, said the new charges brought to ten the total charges against Fogarty in connection with Drennan’s death.

Garda Oliver Gee gave evidence of arresting and charging Fogarty with seven new charges, at 10.31am this morning at the Limerick court complex building, Mulgrave Street.

Garda Gee said Fogarty made no reply to the charges.

Sergeant Murray said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had directed that Fogarty face a trial on indictment at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court.

Ian McNamara, solicitor for Fogarty said he was seeking bail for the accused.

Judge Patrica Harney granted an application by Sgt Murray to remand Fogarty in custody for service of the State’s Book of Evidence on 4 April.

Drennan’s father attended court along with members of the Limerick Voice newspaper, of which Joe Drennan was editor-in-chief at the time he died.

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

Fogarty allegedly overtook a garda patrol car at speed as he traveled from Annacotty towards Limerick City, the bail hearing heard.

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

Then the BMW allegedly mounted a kerb near a bus stop and struck Drennan who died.

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

Rising talent

Drennan was one of UL’s rising journalism students and he was shortlisted for Journalist of the Year at the 2023 Student Media Awards.

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

The UL Journalism school launched the Joe Drennan Memorial Competition for Inclusive Journalism, “to recognise journalism that enhances understanding of marginalised communities”.

“It has been the most horrific time, and we can say all the usual platitudes, but for us we are not fine, we will not be fine or grand anytime soon, we are hurt, we are angry, we are sad, we are broken,” Marguerite Drennan told the newspaper.

“We are all struggling in so many ways, it is physically hard to breathe at times with the weight of his (Joe’s) loss,” she said.

 Drennan’s sisters Sarah, Ava and Marie, and brothers Richard, John and Kieran, remembered him as “pure sunshine on a cloudy day”.

Sarah Drennan said:

“Joe was intelligent, stylish, kind-hearted, beautiful, hilarious, and so so loving,” she said.

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