GAA pundit Joe Brolly has launched a scathing attack on Jim McGuinness in the ongoing row over comments the Derry man made last week about RTE commentator Marty Morrissey.
Last week the former Donegal manager and now Sky Sports pundit McGuinness used his Irish Times column to slam some of the commentary on RTE’s The Sunday Game.
Brolly has used his column in today’s Sunday Independent to hit back.
“It is unsurprising that in his column in The Irish Times last week, Jim McGuinness chose to mount an attack on what I see as RTE’s free speech ethos. As we saw when he managed Donegal, Jim’s guiding principle is control,” writes Brolly in his piece.
“He dominated nearly every aspect of his players’ lives. When he met the squad for the first time in 2011, each man was presented with a typed behavioural contract, drafted by a solicitor. The agreement was described as ‘legally binding’ and contained penalty clauses. It was the beginning of a dictatorial masterclass. Players’ mobile phones were confiscated after team talks on the morning of big games. An atmosphere of paranoia surrounded the squad.”
Brolly goes on: “Jim’s use of the word ‘respect’ in his column struck me. When Kevin Cassidy, a great servant of Donegal football, gave some innocuous inside information to respected journalist Declan Bogue, he was promptly dropped. At his press conference after the 2012 All-Ireland final, Jim humiliated Bogue. When Jim entered the room and saw him there, he sat wordlessly, fiddling with his watch. After a long silence, he stood up and walked out, leaving the 40 or so GAA journalists bemused. Soon after, a Croke Park official approached Bogue and told him apologetically that McGuinness would not come back in until he left the room. Bogue did and, shame to say it, his press colleagues stayed on. Easier to be controlled than to speak your mind.”
Brolly describes McGuinness as an ‘extraordinary human being’ but insisted he ‘ought not to be above scrutiny. On RTE, he wasn’t.”
Brolly says he was wrong to make disparaging comments about Morrissey.
The full column is here: