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Joe Brolly anger as Jim McGuinness row gets more ugly

By Martin Kelly

Published 01/06/2015

Outspoken: Joe Brolly has hit back at criticism
Outspoken: Joe Brolly has hit back at criticism

Controversial pundit Joe Brolly has hit back at Jim McGuinness who slammed Brolly's on air labelling of RTÉ colleague Marty Morrissey as 'ugly' - during the Cavan-Monaghan game - in the former Donegal manager's newspaper column.

Citing McGuinness's treatment of the Belfast Telegraph's GAA correspondent after Donegal's 2012 All-Ireland win, Brolly wrote in the Sunday Independent: '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… 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… an atmosphere of paranoia surrounded the squad."

Brolly continued: "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 commented.

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