'You're like f***ing Aontú': Joe Brolly reveals why he joined eir after RTÉ 'hurt'

Joe Brolly has admitted he came to the realisation that he was "howling into the wilderness" when it came to criticising the GAA for doing deals with pay-per-view broadcasters.

'You're like f***ing Aontú': Joe Brolly reveals why he joined eir after RTÉ 'hurt'

Joe Brolly has admitted he came to the realisation that he was "howling into the wilderness" when it came to criticising the GAA for doing deals with pay-per-view broadcasters.

As such, the former RTÉ pundit, who last worked for the national broadcaster on the 2019 drawn All-Ireland final when he was highly critical of referee David Gough, has taken up an offer to work with eir sport.

Brolly was speaking at his official unveiling as an analyst for eir sport's Allianz Leagues coverage and said that having argued against deals like the GAA's partnership with Sky Sports for many years, he's come to a grudging acceptance of the situation.

"We're 10 years down the line now and eventually you have to come to the realisation that you're howling into the wilderness," said Brolly. "The decision has been made by the GAA and there's no going back. I love the GAA and I'll defend it to the death to the outside world, even if I excoriate it on the inside and to the hierarchy.

But you look at it, even my own kids are saying, 'What are you doing (complaining)?' And I suppose increasingly if you're the only one out there with a pitchfork you're in danger of becoming irrelevant. A friend of mine said, 'You're like f***ing Aontú'.

"I would like this thing to be a different way but they're never going to be. I'm pally with Jarlath Burns and he's telling me to wise up about this stuff. And he's going to be the next president of the GAA."

The former All-Ireland-winning Derry forward admitted that the lure of getting back on television was surprisingly strong.

"I loved the public conversation (with RTÉ), don't get me wrong, and I was surprised by how enthusiastic I was when I got the call from eir," he continued. "I didn't expect to get a call from anybody. And when I got the call, I could feel instinctively that I'd like to do it."

Brolly said he was "very hurt" by his release from RTÉ duties after being there for 20 years.

"There's a personal thing in that I didn't want to leave things the way it was in RTÉ," said Brolly. "I felt very hurt."

He was critical of Head of Sport Declan McBennett as well as the general direction and tone of The Sunday Game since the Monaghan man took up his role in April of 2018.

"It became about blandness and statistics," he claimed. "I'm not against statistics. I've been taking teams at the club all the way up, we're very ambitious and we know there's a place for statistics in that realm.

"But in the public conversation, on RTÉ, when you've got a mother with young kids watching it for the fun, when you have an old farmer somewhere, the lads taking a drink in the bar, they don't want to know about the productivity rate of Cork in the first half.

"I used to make that point, why don't we do what the NBA do? They make a point of TV being about false friendship. You're sitting there on your sofa and you're enjoying it, this is fun. The statistics go in a box in the corner and that's the extent of it."

- eir sport has announced the details of its 2020 Allianz Leagues coverage. Over seven weekends eir sport will broadcast a total of 15 football and hurling games. The coverage kicks off on Saturday 25th January, with the home of Saturday night live GAA action broadcasting three matches across its channels.

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