RTÉ analyst Colm O’Rourke has had his say on Joe Brolly’s apparent removal from his role as a pundit on The Sunday Game.
The much-maligned Brolly was omitted from RTÉ’s panel for last Saturday’s All-Ireland final replay and replaced by current Donegal coach Stephen Rochford.
It is believed that the decision to remove the Derry man came as a result of him claiming that David Gough had been influenced by propaganda stemming from Kerry in the wake of his decision to send-off Jonny Cooper a fortnight ago.
Speaking to members of the media following his induction into the GAA Hall of Fame, O’Rourke admitted that he is now more careful than ever before when doing punditry.
“I certainly would be more careful now than I would have been in the past. We live in a much more politically correct world,” said O’Rourke.
On the topic of Brolly, O’Rourke admitted that the Derry man would be a loss to punditry.
“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.
“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 two-time All-Ireland winner feels that Brolly’s contribution to Gaelic Games from a grassroots level right up is often overlooked given his controversial punditry style.
“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 comment on the game. He’s one of the sorts of working ants of the GAA at local level.”
Overall, O’Rourke hopes that his friend and colleague will be back in the RTÉ studio in time for next year.
“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.”