'Political correctness gone mad': Clare Council to debate motion calling on RTÉ to reinstate Joe Brolly

Clare county councillors will debate a motion next week calling on the Government to intervene and reinstate Joe Brolly to RTÉ's football coverage.

'Political correctness gone mad': Clare Council to debate motion calling on RTÉ to reinstate Joe Brolly

The pundit's long-time association with the national broadcaster ended after he was left out of RTÉ's coverage of last year's All-Ireland final replay for criticising referee David Gough.

The motion, which is proposed by Cllr. Gerry Flynn, and backed by fellow independent councillors Ann Norton and PJ Ryan, calls on the Ministers for Communication/Finance to request RTÉ reinstate Brolly, who has since begun working on eir sport's Allianz League coverage.

It states: "We are calling on the Minister for Communication/Finance to request RTÉ 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 many people who watch our games on the national station."

Cllr. Flynn expects the motion to receive unanimous support from his colleagues when it comes up for debate next Monday. "It'll get the full bells and whistles, I can guarantee you that," he said.

"It's an important issue for constituents, not alone for his valuable punditry but also because he's entertaining.

"He's a man I would have the highest respect for, a man that won an All-Ireland, literally gave his kidney to a stranger, and he's provided valuable service to RTÉ and the people of Ireland for many, many years.

"The least I can do as a sports person and a councillor is to submit a request to the Minister for Communication and the Minister for Finance, whoever they will be now, asking whether RTÉ, which we all fund, are going down the road of having a service that's so sterilised that it'll be too bland for people out there to actually tune into.

"But thank God there are other stations around. Maybe it's all this PC [political correctness] gone mad."

He further claimed that the publicity Brolly brings to the game has a wider benefit for the GAA.

"You look at the revenues the GAA are after announcing of €73.9m for 2019, who's to say that Joe's involvement in the games hasn't attracted thousands of people? You never know what benefits in PR comes from having somebody like Joe Brolly involved."

Cllr. Flynn will still be able to tune into Brolly during the League as an eir customer but is concerned for those without access to the channel. He cited the "ludicrous" salaries paid to RTÉ presenters among the reasons why concillors need to hold the station to account on the issue.

"He wouldn't be a personal friend of mine because I don't travel in those circles but he comes across as a very decent individual. It befits people like myself in public service to see what the hell is wrong here? Why did this happen?

"I could say the same for Eamon Dunphy. Controversial as he may be, he was still adding to the value of the punditry.

"Joe was always balanced in his approach and, in fairness, if he got it wrong, he was the first to apologise to anybody he may have offended. That's what I also liked about the man."

In his final game for RTÉ, Brolly questioned Gough's decisions to award Kerry a penalty and send-off Dublin's Jonny Cooper in the drawn All-Ireland final, claiming the referee had been “clearly influenced by the propaganda coming from Kerry”.

He later apologised to Gough in a phone call and the two remain good friends.

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