Monday 20 November 2017

Joe Brolly defends 'complete independence' Sunday Game pundits enjoy and calls his Pat Spillane remarks 'panto stuff'

Joe Brolly described Pat Spillane's comments on Diarmuid Connolly incident as 'studied'
Joe Brolly described Pat Spillane's comments on Diarmuid Connolly incident as 'studied'

Conor Neville

Joe Brolly described his ribbing of Pat Spillane at the weekend as "just panto stuff."

On the Sunday Game, Brolly accused Spillane of acting like "counsel for the prosecution" in his analysis of the Diarmuid Connolly incident against Carlow, and most contentiously, of bringing his Kerry bias to the table when analysing the controversy.

Des Cahill was swift to point out that Spillane wasn't present and many viewers criticised Brolly for attacking a colleague in his absence. 

Speaking on The Throw In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast, Brolly reiterated his view that Spillane "went over the top" in his criticism of Connolly.

And he wanted it noted that Spillane had previously attacked him in absentia.

"Pat's a big boy and he's said many things about me. Pat gave a very disloyal interview about me and people were ringing about it saying 'bloody hell!' I was shocked myself like. I have no issues with Pat. I mean we wouldn't be friends like. But I've no problems with him and he's entitled to his opinion.

"This idea that he wasn't there to protect himself, I mean Pat's got a massive public profile, he's got a newspaper column every Sunday. And he knows what he did. He went over the top. There's no doubt about that."

Ultimately, Brolly said boisterous disagreements about football were just "a bit of craic" and that this latest incident demonstrated the freedom enjoyed by RTE pundits in contrast to their buttoned-up counterparts on Sky.

"It also illustrates the independence of RTE. Graeme Souness said once that on Sky it's very rehearsed and you must always complement the product. You must be careful and very political. Whereas on RTE, we've complete independence so that any analyst can express his view. And long may that continue."

Subscribe to The Throw-In, Independent.ie's weekly Championship podcast, for the best in GAA discussion and analysis every Monday, with some of the biggest names in football and hurling from Joe Brolly, Tomás Ó'Sé, Brendan Cummins and John Mullane.

Subscribe and listen to The Throw-In podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud.

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