Confirmed: Joe Brolly dropped from all RTÉ coverage of All-Ireland replay

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Joe Brolly has been dropped entirely from RTÉ’s coverage of Saturday’s All-Ireland final replay.

As first reported in the Irish Examiner, Brolly has been replaced by Stephen Rochford on the RTÉ panel for their live coverage of the final.

RTÉ have since confirmed their line-up for that night’s highlights show and radio coverage, with Brolly left out of all panels.

Rochford will be joined on the panel by Pat Spillane and Ciaran Whelan, with Joanne Cantwell in the presenter’s chair. Ger Canning and Kevin McStay will provide the commentary.

Later that evening, the Saturday Game highlights will see Des Cahill and guests Colm O’Rourke, Sean Cavanagh, and Tomás Ó Sé look back at the final and announce their team of the year. Marty Morrissey will be at the winners’ hotel.

On RTÉ Radio 1, Jacqui Hurley and Darren Frehill will be alongside Alan Brogan, Conor McManus, and Colm Cooper. Darragh Maloney will be joined by Oisín McConville on commentary.

The decision not to keep Brolly in the panel for the replay follows controversy over his comments during the drawn game.

Both Whelan and Brolly questioned the judgement of referee David Gough in sending off Jonny Cooper for fouling David Clifford on a third occasion. Former Dublin midfielder Whelan described the decision as “disgraceful”, while Brolly claimed the Meath match official had been “clearly influenced by the propaganda coming from Kerry”.

The day after the game, Whelan rowed back on his comments: “When you look back on it and look at the replays, as Cooper is going down he does pull Clifford down with him so it’s hard to argue with Gough’s decision.”

Speaking on Radio Kerry’s Terrace Talk and commenting on Twitter, Brolly maintained his position until this past weekend when he revealed he had spoken to Gough who explained his decision.

“Paraphrasing Gough, Brolly wrote in his Sunday Independent column: “‘(Clifford) checking an opponent in those circumstances is fine. So, although David plays him, the first foul occurs when Jonny grabs his arm. As you can see, I had no choice.’ Put like that, it is absolutely true. So there you have it. Every day is a school day.”

Brolly said he apologised to Gough for the “propaganda remark” —

I suggested in the heat of the moment that referee David Gough may have been influenced by the propaganda emanating from Kerry in the lead-up to the game. Afterwards, I contacted him to apologise for this. It was wrong of me and unfair on David, who is a man of integrity and honour.

Regarding the penalty call, he admitted Gough was right to award it. “I watched it again after we spoke and Goddamnit, David is right. It is a penalty. Subtle, but clear.”

The RTÉ Saturday Game Live begins at 5pm, an hour before the throw-in and concludes at 8.30pm in the event there is no extra-time. The same schedule for the replay has been allocated by Sky Sports on its Arena channel.

RTÉ’s Saturday Game highlights programme begins at 10pm and finishes at 11.30pm. The hour-long Sunday Game featuring highlights and analysis of the three ladies football finals begins at 9.30pm.

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