Joe Brolly at the launch of Líofa
|Irish name||Seosamh Ó Brollaigh|
|Born||25 June 1969|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Occupation||Barrister, journalist, television pundit|
Joe Brolly (Irish: Seosamh Ó Brolaigh; born 25 June 1969) is an Irish barrister, Gaelic football analyst and former player from Dungiven, County Derry, Northern Ireland. Brolly played for Derry in the 1990s and early 2000s and was part of the their first ever All-Ireland Senior Football Championship winning side in 1993 and also won two Ulster Senior Football Championships and four National League titles. He also won two All Star Awards during his career.
Brolly played club football for St Canice's Dungiven for most of his career, before transferring to St Brigid's GAC in Belfast. With Dungiven he won two Derry Senior Football Championships and one Ulster Senior Club Football Championship.
He usually played as right corner forward and was renowned for his accurate point-taking, goal-scoring ability, pace and ability to take on opponents. He was also known for his goal celebration of blowing kisses to the crowd, and had his nose broken twice during his career immediately after scoring goals.
Since retiring he has fashioned a niche in television punditry, becoming "the most lippy and articulate pundit on Irish television", and at various stages irking entire counties, including most of Ulster, Cork, Kerry, and in 2012 being dubbed "the Salman Rushdie of County Mayo".
Personal and professional life
Brolly is the son of noted traditional singer and Limavady Sinn Féin councillor Anne Brolly. His father Francie, also a traditional musician, played Gaelic football for Derry in the 1960s, and was later a Sinn Féin councillor and MLA. Joe Brolly is also the first cousin of Derry player Liam Hinphey and Monaghan player Vincent Corey, and second cousin to Tyrone footballers Colm and Plunkett Donaghy. Joe's brother-in-law Ciaran Heron plays hurling for Antrim.
Brolly was a boarder in Saint Patrick's Grammar School, Armagh. He played basketball for Ireland as a schoolboy. After school he went to Trinity College, Dublin, before doing a postgraduate course at Queen's University Belfast. He was a prominent member of the Dublin University Central Athletic Club (DUCAC) in his Trinity days, and became a member of the student executive. He is married and has five children.
As a barrister he has specialised in criminal matters and has defended Irish republicans in court. He was involved in a UK Supreme Court case in 2011 that established a right to compensation for a miscarriage of justice without the requirement to prove the innocence of the wrongly convicted person (in this instance the Derry republicans Eamonn McDermott and Raymond McCartney).
He also works as a journalist, writing a column for Gaelic Life and the Ireland Mail on Sunday. A radio and television football pundit, he is a regular on the long-running RTÉ programme The Sunday Game.
Brolly made his Derry Senior debut against Cavan in the 1990 National League. In 1993 he was part of the Derry side that won the Ulster Championship and the county's first All-Ireland Senior Football Championship. His All Stars Award recognition surprisingly came in the relatively barren years of 1996 and 1997. He was top scorer in the 1997 Ulster Championship with 3–15 (24 points). Brolly added a second Ulster Senior Football Championship in 1998, in the final of which he scored the clinching goal in the last minute. Derry won the National Football League four times in a nine-year period from 1992 to 2000 (1992, 1995, 1996, 2000), with Brolly being part of all four. Brolly and Derry finished runners-up to Offaly in the 1998 National League decider.
As a 21-year-old, Brolly was part of Dungiven's Derry Senior Football Championship success in 1991. Brolly won another Derry Championship medal in 1997, and also won the Ulster Club Championship. He was top scorer in that year's Derry Championship with 1–25 (28 points) and was man of the match in the final at Celtic Park.
He played for St Brigid's GAC in Belfast when it won the Antrim Intermediate Football Championship. In 2006 St Brigid's became the first GAA club to play against the Police Service of Northern Ireland Gaelic football team. In 2009 Brolly broke his leg while playing in a challenge match against Cookstown. St Brigid's reached that year's Antrim Senior Football Championship semi-final, but were defeated after a replay by a point by Portglenone.
- All-Ireland Senior Football Championship – Winner (1): 1993
- National Football League – Winner (4): 1992, 1995, 1996, 2000
- National Football League – Runner up: 1998
- Ulster Senior Football Championship – Winner (2): 1993, 1998
- Ulster Senior Football Championship – Runner up: 1992, 1997, 2000
- Dr. McKenna Cup – Winner (2): 1993, 1999
Sunday Game pundit of the year 2006–2012
- Ulster Senior Club Football Championship – Winner (1): 1997
- Derry Senior Football Championship – Winner (2): 1991, 1997
- Derry Senior Football Championship – Runner up: 1996
- Derry Senior Football League – Winner (1/2?): 1990?, 1991
- Antrim Intermediate Football Championship – Winner (1?): Year?
- Underage awards
- Ryan Cup – Winner (1): 1992
Note: The above lists may be incomplete. Please add any other honours you know of.
- "Teams". 1994 Ulster Championship Quarter-final Programme. 29 May 1994.
- "Derry Pen Pics". 1994 Ulster Championship Quarter-final Programme. 29 May 1994.
- Brolly, Joe (18 April 2008). "R-E-S-P-E-C-T (find out what it means to me)". Gaelic Life.
- Duggan, Keith (14 February 2013). "'It is funny the stir it can cause when you say what you think'". The Irish Times (Irish Times Trust). Retrieved 14 February 2013.
- Brolly, Joe (31 October 2008). "A tribute to Maisie Donaghy". Gaelic Life. p. 48. Retrieved 14 November 2008.[dead link]
- Brolly, Joe (7 November 2008). "Here we go again with Cork". Gaelic Life. p. 48.
- "IRA membership charges dropped". BBC. 29 March 2004. Retrieved 16 March 2008.
- "Court hears of Real IRA bomb plot". The Irish Times. 11 November 2006. Retrieved 17 March 2008.
- "Two Belfast men bailed on gun charges". UTV. Retrieved 17 March 2008.
- Irish Times report of Supreme Court case. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- Gaelic Life " It's a young man's game!" February 19 2008
- Brolly, Joe (16 December 2012). "This is a vicious piece of work". Gaelic Life. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- "Drivetime Sport". RTÉ News. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
- "RTÉ unveil Championship coverage". Retrieved 8 March 2008.
- "Football All Stars 90's". Retrieved 8 March 2008.
- "Facts and Figures". 1998 Ulster Championship Quarter-final Programme (R & S Printers Ltd, Monaghan). 31 May 1998.
- "Queen's Hall of Fame". Retrieved 8 March 2008.
- "Lyons' pride pass tough test of character to land League". Irish Examiner. 27 April 1998. Retrieved 6 April 2008.
- "PSNI Could Join GAA League". Irish Aires News. 1 September 2006. Retrieved 3 August 2008.
- Brolly, Joe (4 September 2009). "Bread and butter of the club". Gaelic Life.
- Brolly, Joe (26 October 2007). "Liquid asset the obvious solution". Gaelic Life. p. 48.
- Said by Michael Lyster and Brolly during the RTÉ Sunday Game Live coverage of the All-Ireland Qualifiers Round 3 games. Down versus Wexford and Tyrone versus Mayo. (The Tommy Murphy Cup final had preceded the two games) – 2 August 2008.
- Derry GAA official site
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- GAA website
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