O’Rourke: Brolly ‘a loss to punditry’

O’Rourke: Brolly ‘a loss to punditry’

The Sunday Game analyst Colm O’Rourke has said he’s in the dark about colleague Joe Brolly’s future on the show but admitted he’d like the Derry man to return next season.

Station bosses opted not to use Brolly for their All-Ireland final replay transmission, effectively replacing him with Donegal coach Stephen Rochford.

It followed controversial remarks by Brolly about referee David Gough at half-time of the drawn final, when the pundit claimed that Gough had been “clearly influenced by the propaganda coming from Kerry”.

Meath great O’Rourke, who was yesterday inducted into the GAA Museum’s Hall of Fame, said he doesn’t know if Brolly is gone for good but hopes this is not the case.

“I don’t know what has happened there, I’m not privy to what has taken place but hopefully he’ll be back next year,” said O’Rourke, who admitted that he personally has learned to choose his words carefully on TV.

I certainly would be more careful now than I would have been in the past. We live in a much more politically correct world. Joe would be the exception to that, I suppose. I think he’s a loss to punditry.

“And of course at times he can drive me as mad as anybody else, but I think the last thing you need is blandness in commentary.

“Now Joe, he’s eccentric, he says things, but I think he has done the GAA a lot of service in so far as his opinions on the game are often discussed afterwards and maybe in the days that follow.

“People will always say they agree or disagree, they don’t ignore him. And I think you always need people like that. Obviously there are limits to what people can say but I think if you take the whole lot, on the round, he is an addition to the whole analysis of the games.

“The other thing about it is, he has a deep love and passion for the game, he’s not just a commentator.

“He’s involved with his own club, he’s been involved at underage, he thinks about the game, he’s very aware of its tradition and culture and amateur ethos and things like that.

“He’s not a fly-by-night who just comes along and makes comments on the game. He’s one of the sort of working ants of the GAA at local level.”

O’Rourke said that he expects to be commenting upon another football Championship dominated by Dublin when he returns to analyst duty in 2020.

“I think they’ll do six in a row next year because they are supremely motivated,” said O’Rourke.

The best part of the team is nearly the youngest part now when you look at Brian Fenton, Brian Howard, Jack McCaffrey, Con O’Callaghan, Paul Mannion, Ciaran Kilkenny, those fellas are not going anywhere.

"The six really best players at this stage, their main driving force, are in their peak years; 24, 25, 26. And they love playing. So I think it’s curtains for a lot of teams for a while yet because I don’t see them is improving.”

Also inducted into the GAA Museum’s Hall of Fame were hurling trio Terence McNaughton (Antrim), Conor Hayes (Galway) and Nicky English (Tipperary) and football's Denis ‘Ogie’ Moran (Kerry) and Larry Tompkins (Cork).

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