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GAA pundit Joe donates kidney to save friend fighting for life

GAA pundit Joe Brolly has described his decision to donate a kidney to a seriously ill friend as "an honour".

The RTE pundit is recovering in a London hospital after donating one of his kidneys to Shane Finnegan, a long time friend and club mate from St Brigid's GAC in Belfast.

The transplant took place on Wednesday and the two men are now recovering in Guy's Hospital in London.

Yesterday the former Derry star said it has been "an honour" to have helped his friend.

"I'm honoured to have been in the position to help Shane.

"He's been waiting for a transplant for over six years and when I heard that the only possibility of one was through a live donor I contacted his medical team," he said.


"And, of course, in my considered opinion it's all going according to plan -- and thankfully the doctors concur," he added.

His friend, Shane Finnegan said yesterday he was overwhelmed by the gesture.

"Joe's altruism is overwhelming and there are no words to thank him or his family for his wonderful gift," he said.

"I know its early days, but I'm so relieved that it's all going well for both of us so far," he added.

Mr Brolly, a father of five, confided to friends in recent weeks that he would be out of commission for a number of months as a result of the surgery. Mr Brolly (43), a barrister who specialises in criminal matters, is not expected to return to work until the New Year.

It is understood that the GAA pundit has been preparing for the operation for the past number of weeks. A friend of Mr Brolly said he had quietly been making arrangements for the operation for some time.

"He's known about this for a while but he didn't want it made public. Joe is a very good friend who would do anything to help his friends.

"To do this for a family member is one thing but to do it for a friend brings it to a whole other level," they added.