Saturday 22 October 2016

Michael Lyster sums up why 'loose cannon' Joe Brolly is so important to GAA coverage

Published 08/04/2016 | 18:04

He is a man that certainly divides opinion but there is no doubt that when the championship rolls around, Joe Brolly's analysis is appointment viewing.

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The Derry pundit often courts controversy on RTE, whether it is questioning Sean Cavanagh's manhood or referring to Marty Morrissey's looks.

It was his comparison of Cavan's 'black death' tactics to the RTE commentator that got Brolly in trouble last summer when he said the Ulster county's style was 'as ugly as Marty Morrissey'.

Brolly was reprimanded for the remark by his bosses and in an interview that will air next Monday on IrishTV with Eamonn Mallie, RTE GAA anchor Michael Lyster further condemns his colleague for the comments.

“There’s no doubt about it. What he said about Marty was just so out of line, was just so wrong. I don’t know, to this day, what Joe was thinking. I really don’t," Lyster says.

However, despite disagreeing with that specific comment, Lyster also reserved high praise for the All-Ireland-winning corner forward, calling him a 'loose cannon worth having'.

"Sometimes people would be giving out, ‘ah, Joe Brolly drives me mad’, ‘Pat Spillane gives me a pain in the backside’," Lyster says.

"It’s about getting that balance right by throwing a Colm O’Rourke into the middle of them. The special chemistry is picking the right guys to put in the studio. Because all you have to do is look at their various personalities.

“Joe Brolly is a very, very intelligent guy, very knowledgeable in GAA. When you leave out all the madness, what he says is right on the money most of the time. Except he’s always capable of the other thing, that’s neither here nor there, and not on any money.

"Is he a loose cannon? “Yes. But is he a loose cannon worth having? Yes. If he was a guy that was just a mouth, that was saying things for attention, that wouldn’t work. But you can strip back his comments, and some of things he says that gets under people’s skins, and say, ‘well, what about the point he was making’ and you’ll find the point was pretty accurate."

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