Sunday 21 January 2018

No comment from Joe Duffy as brother talks of ‘deep hurt’ caused by his book

Brendan Duffy, brother of RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy. Photo: Sunday World
Brendan Duffy, brother of RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy. Photo: Sunday World

Ken Sweeney

BROADCASTER Joe Duffy remained tight-lipped yesterday after a series of allegations made by his younger brother who claimed to be deeply hurt by passages in the RTE star's new autobiography.

Brendan Duffy features in the RTE's star's recent best-selling autobiography 'Just Joe', in which his brother's life is described as "crippled, ruined, and wrecked by a savage addiction" to drugs and which recounts his criminal past.

However, speaking to the 'Sunday World' yesterday, the 51-year-old claimed his older brother had not warned him that he would feature in the memoir, and said the matters discussed were all in the past.

"Would you write that about your brother's crimes like that 27 years later? Especially since I have had 14 years of sobriety in the middle of those years," said Mr Duffy.

The recovering addict said that although he was "proud" of his brother's achievements, he claimed to be "deeply hurt" and saddened by passages in the book concerning their late father Jimmy Duffy and the impact his drinking had on the family.

"Drink was killing Jimmy inside," recounts Joe Duffy in the memoir. "Eating him up, driving him to acts of mental cruelty. In my view, alcohol ruled, ruined and ended my father's life."

However, Brendan Duffy has countered: "My dad did like a drink but he worked five-and-a-half days a week. His whole pay packet went to my mum. The overtime he did on a Saturday was his social money for 'cigs' and his few drinks. He kept the arse in all our trousers," he said.

Brendan Duffy, who was jailed for robbing a petrol pump attendant in Blessington, Co Wicklow, in 1984, also claimed his brother would not let him forget his criminal past but was more forgiving with those he encountered on his radio show.


"On November 14, Joe spoke to two taxi drivers on air. One driver was accused of skipping a queue and accusations were made about this guy's convictions 30 years ago. Joe was saying that he's paid the price -- why bring this up 30 years later?

"But I paid a price too. I was sentenced to Mountjoy, pleaded guilty and expressed remorse. Joe is on the radio giving these people sympathy but he had none when he wrote about me, and, more importantly, about my dad," he said.

One chapter in the book recounts how the RTE personality had asked for his brother to be returned to jail on the night before their father's funeral.

However, Brendan Duffy denies his brother's claim that he was receiving drugs at the removal service and that a dealer had called to the family home afterwards.

"No one passed me anything in the church -- hand on my heart. Joe says that a knock came to the door that night, and he claims a gurrier was at the door. It was no such thing.

Brendan Duffy said that his brother contacted him the day the extracts from the book were published in a newspaper.

"I have told him I want to come on 'Liveline' to debate what he has said about me but I have got no reply," he said.

Asked by the Irish Independent about his brother's claims, Joe Duffy would not comment.

Irish Independent

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