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Joe Brolly opens up on how ‘shocked’ and ‘hurt’ he was over RTE exit

Joe Brolly RTE

Joe Brolly has opened up on his exit from RTE and The Sunday Game, explaining the strained relationship between himself and the national broadcaster’s new head of sport.

Brolly was a regular Gaelic football pundit on RTE’s The Sunday Game and made a number of very memorable contributions to the sports programme.

Some of those memorable contributions may have gotten him on the wrong side of some people, but there is no doubting that vast swathes of people with an interest in Gaelic games were also interested in what the Derry man had to say.

Brolly was speaking on Virgin Media’s Sport Stories and explained how his relationship with RTE became strained and eventually reached a breaking point after Declan McBennett was appointed as the broadcaster’s head of sport in 2018.

Joe Brolly on his exit from RTE.

“I think what happened ultimately was a new head of sport came in who had a very civil servants view of how it all ought to be done. A very prescriptive view,” Brolly said.

“Very quickly I was made to feel uncomfortable. Very quickly. The previous heads of sport, we had a terrific relationship and still keep in contact. Often we’d text each other and all that sort of thing.

“I suppose some people are just allergic to other people and I think he was allergic to me. I think it was just a sense of ‘look, this is only going one way.’ It was very disappointing to me and very hurtful to me as well. That’s life.

“I was shocked, I mean I was shocked.”

The Derry man remains a high-profile figure in Gaelic football.

Although Brolly hasn’t appeared on RTE’s The Sunday Game since the 2019 All-Ireland Football final, that hasn’t stopped the former Derry footballer from expressing his opinion on the sport.

Brolly is still involved as a Gaelic football pundit, as he regularly writes a column for the Irish Independent and often appears as a guest on various GAA podcasts.

Outside of sports punditry, Brolly works as a barrister, a job which he credits for helping him to articulate himself when speaking about less serious matters, such as Gaelic football.

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