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Joe Brolly reveals heartache after kidney donation to friend fails


LEADING GAA pundit Joe Brolly has said he was devastated when he heard his kidney donation to a friend had failed.

The former All Ireland football winner with Derry donated a kidney to his friend Shane Finnegan last month – but the transplant failed when complications were discovered just nine days after the operation.

Speaking on RTE News at One today, Mr Brolly (43) said it was an agonising time but he "would do it all again tomorrow if he could".

Mr Brolly, who works as a barrister, said Mr Finnegan’s wife called in the middle of the night to tell him the operation had failed.

It had been reported that Mr Finnegan’s body had rejected the organ but Mr Brolly clarified the problem, saying the kidney was starved of oxygen because of a blood clot.

"There was obviously deep disappointment," he said. "The kidney that had been working perfectly had to be taken out. There was no rejection as we understand it. It was all the more agonising for that.

The ‘Sunday Game’ pundit said he has started back running and hoped to return to work next month.

"But for Shane it's different" he said.

"Because the stakes are very high, it wasn't really the sort of game you could afford to lose. For Shane, it was obviously was a hammer blow.

"The clock is ticking and he needs a kidney from a live donor urgently. He is very weak, he has lost a few stone and is very frail but mentally he is very strong."

He urged potential donors not to be afraid.

"The scientific community isn't sure why we have two kidneys," he added. "You only need one kidney. Once you are healthy, you can be a living donor.

"If someone were interested, they can easily contact me, north or south. If someone put their hands up, the process is excellent, you know it's something well worth doing. I would do it all again tomorrow if I could."