Thursday 18 October 2018

'We're in Rose of Tralee world' - Joe Brolly criticises RTE for apologising for his Barry McGuigan comments

Joe Brolly and Barry McGuigan
Joe Brolly and Barry McGuigan Newsdesk Newsdesk

Joe Brolly has criticised RTE for apologising over his views on Barry McGuigan's world title victory in 1985.

Both Brolly and fellow pundit Eamon Dunphy were against including the Clones Cyclone's win over Eusebio Pedroza in a shortlist of the top five sporting moments from the 1980's.

McGuigan's win was featured in the opening episode of the RTE Show Ireland's Greatest Sporting Moment.

Dunphy claimed that McGuigan's manager Barney Eastwood deserved huge credit for the success and argued that McGuigan's triumph was largely due to Pedroza - then 29 - being "over the hill".

On a subsequent episode of the show, presenter Des Cahill said: "In our first programme on the 80s, we featured Barry McGuigan's wonderful achievement in becoming world champion.

"Now the conversations that followed were robust and they strayed somewhat from the great moment that we set out to mark.

"For that we would like to apologise to Barry and his legion of supporters. It wasn't in the spirit of what the programme was designed to do and lots of you let us know your feelings. We're happy to recognise that."

Brolly claimed that it was a 'false apology' and that his stance on McGuigan's win was justified.

"The world has increasingly become like the Rose of Tralee. You can't even say that Barry McGuigan was a mediocre fighter," the Derry native told Dunphy's podcast, The Stand.

"We’re either interested in the truth and in the facts of things or we’re in Rose of Tralee world where no-one says anything and where, for example, RTÉ apologise because you and I took an entirely fair, but robust view of Barry McGuigan.

"I mean, apologising? And, of course, everybody knows the apology is false as well."

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