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Emma Langford and Molly Cantwell release charity single in memory of Joe Drennan



Emma Langford with Molly Cantwell pictured in the studio during the recording of the charity single Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ in honour of Joe Drennan. Picture: Conor Kerr. Artwork by Tiffany Glenn

Joe Drennan remembered with charity cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ by Emma Langford and Molly Cantwell

The ‘River’ charity single is available on Bandcamp with the artwork designed by Tiffany Glenn

Emma Langford joins Molly Cantwell in her debut release paying homage to the late Laois native and University of Limerick journalism student, Joe Drennan.

Langford and Cantwell have covered ‘River’, an unconventional Christmas track by Joni Mitchell – donating all funds raised to Gay Community News (GCN).

GCN is a free, vital resource by the LGBTQ+ community for the LGBTQ+ community since 1988 and a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model.




On October 13, 2023, Limerick-based GCN and Limerick Voice journalist, Joe Drennan, was tragically killed in a hit-and-run, two-car collision. The extremely talented journalist and “voice for the voiceless” was senselessly lost – with his family, friends, and colleagues suffering incredibly from this grief.

Speaking about her friend and colleague, Molly Cantwell said, “Joe was destined for greatness. He 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, and so incredibly enviable.

“The student journalist was so passionate about his work with Gay Community News and as Editor-In-Chief of Limerick Voice. He was so determined to build a powerful future for himself. All of us at Limerick Voice and in his class in UL knew there was no question he would be the one walking into a much sought-after job at the end of our degree.

“There are no words to describe the incredible loss we constantly feel as a class and as a group of young journalists. You never expect something like this to land on your doorstep, 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.”

The track ‘River’ was chosen by Molly while she was walking by the Shannon River late one night – a spot that Joe adored. She then approached Emma with the idea, who jumped on board. Quickly, the idea snowballed, with a multitude of Limerick creatives willing to donate their time.

Joining Molly and Emma in the Joe Drennan charity single are a plethora of Limerick friends. Aaron Griffin (Waterdogs) joins the pair on guitar, Nora Casey on harp, Emer O’Flaherty on piano, and Aoife Hennessy on backing vocals/harmonies. The track was recorded by Chris Quigley in studio space donated by Dylan Flynn and the Dead Poets, mixed by Marty Ryan of Anna’s Anchor, and mastered by Richard Dowling at Wav Mastering. The single artwork was designed by the wonderful, Limerick-based, Tiffany Glenn.

joe drennan
Joe Drennan, the award-winning journalist worked with GCN and as Editor-in-Chief for UL’s Limerick Voice

Molly spoke further about the kindness of the Limerick creative community, “I decided on a whim that this would be the perfectly dramatic way to honour Joe at a time of year that is so painful for so many. As soon as I put the thought out into the universe, the Limerick creatives rushed to my side. It was – and still is – amazing to see how many people wanted to remember Joe in this way and who were so willing to donate their time and services for nothing in return.

“I’m eternally grateful to live somewhere where people are so completely selfless – and to call it home. Losing Joe has been incredibly difficult but knowing that he has all of this support around him, even in his passing, is such a blessing.

“I’ve spoken to Joe’s family about this release, and they are so grateful that this can be something we remember Joe with and raise money for a cause so close to his heart.

“I’ll miss you forever, Joe, and I hope this single can honour your memory in the right way.”

‘River’ will be available on Bandcamp only until 2024, then becoming available on all streaming platforms. This decision was made in order to raise as much money as possible around the Christmas season this year – 2023.

Buy the ‘River‘ on Bandcamp.
Read more Limerick community stories.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.