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Joe Drennan, journalist and University of Limerick student.
joe drennan

Man charged over fatal hit and run of University of Limerick journalism student Joe Drennan

Kieran Fogarty (20) has been remanded in custody to appear before Limerick District Court via video-link on 23 January.


A MAN DESCRIBED in court as “a danger to the community”, was refused bail today, after he was charged with causing the death of journalism student Joe Drennan in a hit-and-run collision. 

Gardai arrested Kieran Fogarty, (20), Hyde Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick, today and charged him with offences including dangerous driving causing the death of University of Limerick (UL) student, Joe Drennan, on Friday, 13 October 2023. 

Fogarty was also charged with driving without insurance or a license at the time. 

Detective Garda Shane O’Neill, Roxboro Road Garda Station, told a bail hearing held at Limerick District Court that moments prior to the fatal collision, Fogarty was observed by gardaí driving a black coloured BMW “dangerously” and “at speed”. 

Fogarty overtook a garda patrol car at speed as he drive the BMW from the Annacotty area towards Limerick City. 

Gardaí activated the patrol car’s blue lights and sirens and followed Fogarty “at a safe distance”, detective O’Neill said. 

He alleged the BMW “driven by Kieran Fogarty” continued at speed, and broke a red light and collided with a white coloured Volkswagen car, injuring the male driver and female front seat passenger.

Detective O’Neill further alleged Fogarty then “lost control” of the BMW, which mounted a kerb near a bus stop, and struck Joe Drennan who was fatally injured. 

He further claimed Fogarty exited the BMW “and failed to remain at the scene and failed to render assistance to Joe Drennan”. 

“The DPP is considering further serious charges,” said Detective O’Neill. 

He objected to bail under Section 2 of the Bail Act as well as O’Callaghan Rules, that there was strong evidence against Fogarty including CCTV footage which placed the accused as the only occupant of the car. 

Detective O’Neill alleged “DNA” gleamed by forensic investigators from an airbag that had deployed in the BMW in the collision on the night “matched Kieran Fogarty”. 

He further alleged that gardaí had unearthed text messages in which Fogarty allegedly discussed leaving the jurisdiction and where he had told others he was involved in a collision in which a person had died. 

Detective O’Neill said that, given the “seriousness of the charges” Kieran Fogarty was in his opinion, “a danger to the community” and should not be released on bail. 

If granted bail, Fogarty would commit further serious offences and he would not answer the charges against him, the detective alleged. 

The court heard Fogarty’s partner is due to give birth in June to the couple’s first child. 

Judge Carol Anne Coolican said Fogarty was entitled to the presumption of innocence and that the charges against him were “allegations”. 

The judge said she was satisfied with allegations outlined in the State’s bail pack. 

She remanded Fogarty in custody to appear before Limerick District Court via video-link on 23 January.

From Mountrath, Co Laois, Joe Drennan, who was 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.