Joe Brolly’s remarks are the issue, not his GAA background

A letter from Aileen Quinton:

By Letters
Saturday, 23rd April 2022, 4:40 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th April 2022, 9:21 am
Joe Brolly, the barrister, columnist and GAA pundit. Aileen Quinton writes: "It is not a given that everyone with a ‘GAA background’ considers  that 'It’s nobody’s business if GAA clubs are named after dead republican paramilitaries' (as Mr Brolly once said)"
Joe Brolly, the barrister, columnist and GAA pundit. Aileen Quinton writes: "It is not a given that everyone with a ‘GAA background’ considers that 'It’s nobody’s business if GAA clubs are named after dead republican paramilitaries' (as Mr Brolly once said)"

On April 11, a journalist from Fermanagh, Rodney Edwards, responded to a story in the News Letter that day about Joe Brolly’s interview with Doug Beattie.

After that interview, the News Letter spoke to Mr Brolly, a barrister and GAA pundit, about his discussion with the Ulster Unionist leader.

The paper put a reasonable question to Mr Brolly and in its story it explained the question as follows: The News Letter put it to Mr Brolly that it was unusual for a unionist leader to give an interview to someone from his background in the mouth of an election and that it could prove counterproductive in electoral terms?

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Mr Edwards seized on that line in the News Letter story, and tweeted an image of it, but in his own commentary I do not think he described it accurately.

Mr Edwards wrote: “So, the story — according to one Belfast newspaper — is not the content of the interview by Doug Beattie but the GAA background of its interviewer Joe Brolly and how that might play with the unionist electorate. I do not like critiquing other papers but this is bizarre.”

The “this” that he offered was the excerpt of the article, as mentioned, above.

I consider it bizarre that despite the excerpt saying “his background” Mr Edwards has chosen to make reference specifically to “GAA background”.

It is not a given that everyone with a ‘GAA background’ considers that “It’s nobody’s business if GAA clubs are named after dead republican paramilitaries” (as Mr Brolly once said).

A GAA background does not always mean that you have someone close to you who has taken life (Mr Brolly said he had donated a kidney to ”atone for the taking of human life by people close to me”).

In response to that comment by Mr Brolly, Kenny Donaldson of SEFF asked “What taking of human life is Mr Brolly referring to and who close to him took life?”

I don’t suppose that came up in the Brolly-Beattie cosy chat?

Does the UUP’s ‘more engagement not less’ on this issue extend to David Temple, whose brother was murdered in Claudy? In fact, he pleaded with Mr Brolly to reveal anything he knows after the “taking of human life” comments, which he branded “disgraceful”.

Note, it was Mr Brolly’s comments he branded disgraceful, not his “GAA background”.

Aileen Quinton, Fermanagh (Her mother Alberta was murdered in 1987 Enniskillen bomb)

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