Northern Ireland news

Clare councillors call on new government to get RTÉ to 'bring back Joe Brolly'

Joe Brolly in Ballybofey as an analyst for National League coverage by eir Sport. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

A group of councillors in Co Clare have called for RTÉ to re-instate Joe Brolly as a GAA pundit.

Independent councillors Gerry Flynn, Ann Norton and PJ Ryan have submitted a motion for next week's meeting of Clare County Council.

It calls on the Republic's incoming government to ask the broadcaster to restore the Derry All-Ireland winner to its GAA coverage `asap’.

"We are calling on the Minister for Communication/Finance to request RTE to reinstate the football analyst Joe Brolley (sic) to his position on the current panel asap.

"Joe has provided in-depth analysis of football for many years and his removal from the panel has taken away from the enjoyment of the game for so many people who watch our games on the national station."

Mr Brolly's contract with RTÉ was not renewed at the end of last year's football season.

His last game was the drawn All-Ireland final between Dublin and Kerry, during which the outspoken pundit claimed that referee David Gough had been “clearly influenced by propaganda coming from Kerry”.

Read More: I was hurt by the manner of my exit from RTE: Joe Brolly

The barrister later said he had contacted Gough to apologise.

He has since joined subscriber channel eir Sport as an analyst.

Mr Flynn said he is a sports fanatic and is "suffering from withdrawal symptoms" since Mr Brolly's departure.

"He was a fantastic guy - I loved watching him play the game and I loved watching him analyse it," he told The Irish Times.

“Where I’m coming from, maybe it’s PC gone mad, I don’t know. But I think RTÉ are basically sterilising all analysts now into a position where it’s scripted and it’s taken away from the enjoyment of the game. I’m only giving you this from the point of view of my constituents and my good self.”

The motion is due to be discussed on Monday, with Mr Flynn saying that if it passes, he hopes it will be circulated to all other councils in Ireland.

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