Wednesday 23 October 2019

Colm O'Rourke: Dublin don't get enough funding... but county still needs to be split

Meath’s Colm O’Rourke, ‘Ogie’ Moran of Kerry and Cork’s Larry Tompkins at the GAA Museum in Croke Park yesterday after they were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Meath’s Colm O’Rourke, ‘Ogie’ Moran of Kerry and Cork’s Larry Tompkins at the GAA Museum in Croke Park yesterday after they were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Colm O'Rourke hopes to see Joe Brolly back on RTÉ's championship coverage next year and insists GAA punditry needs figures like the Derry man.

Brolly was axed from RTE's All-Ireland final replay coverage last Saturday and replaced by former Mayo manager Stephen Rochford, with suggestions that he won't feature again for the national broadcaster.

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During the drawn game he had claimed referee David Gough had "clearly been influenced by the propaganda coming from Kerry", a reference to statements from the likes of Éamonn Fitzmaurice and Aidan O'Mahony that the Meath official wasn't suitable to referee Dublin matches as he lives and works in the city.

And while O'Rourke has admitted that the nature of punditry has changed, he insists Brolly fills an important role.

"I certainly would be more careful now than I would have been in the past," said the former Meath star.

"We live in a much more politically correct world. 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.

"Obviously 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.

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"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 sort of working ants of the GAA at local level.

"I don't know what has happened there (with RTÉ)," he said. "I'm not privy to what has taken place but hopefully he'll be back next year."

O'Rourke was speaking at an event in Croke Park where he was inducted into the GAA Hall of Fame along with Denis 'Ogie' Moran, Larry Tompkins, Conor Hayes, Terence 'Sambo' McNaughton and Nicky English.

After watching Dublin make history, O'Rourke insisted that they are underfunded in coaching terms for a county of their size but believes the time will come when the GAA will have to consider splitting the county.

"I think the future of Dublin has to be what I have been saying for a long time - there is going to have to be a division.

"People talk about funding, I don't think Dublin are over-funded, in fact I think they're under-funded because the funding goes to the development of clubs and that's the most important thing of all."

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