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RTÉ Apologise Over Dunphy And Brolly Comments About Barry McGuigan

RTÉ Apologise Over Dunphy And Brolly Comments About Barry McGuigan

Last night's episode of Ireland's Greatest Sporting Moment opened with an odd apology from Des Cahill.

Two weeks ago, during the show which sought to find the nation's greatest sports moment of the 80s - Ray Houghton's Euro 88 goal against England won - Eamon Dunphy and Joe Brolly were both quite uncomplimentary regarding Barry McGuigan's 1985 WBA featherweight title victory.

Dunphy stated that the real hero of the McGuigan story was his manager Barney Eastwood who "lined up a succession of easy fights" before finding an easy mark for a title fight in the "over the hill" Eusebio Pedroza. Dunphy added that he felt the narrative which told of McGuigan uniting the island was just "hype".

That was a sentiment with which Brolly agreed, saying "It wasn't the real thing. Sectarianism was at its height in the North in 1987. That was showbiz, the white dove on the shorts and all of that."

It later became clear - while the panellists ranked their top three moments of the decade - that Brolly also had a personal dislike of McGuigan. It was one he was not shy about hiding.

"Anybody but McGuigan, I'd like to start with... I just don't like the man," said Brolly. "I am biased against him. I want to declare that just in the interest of honest discourse."

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Brolly and Dunphy's naked aversion to McGuigan's achievement was undoubtedly the most interesting aspect of that night's show.

Last night, Des Cahill apologised for what were called 'robust conversations' about McGuigan.

In our first programme on the 80s, we featured Barry McGuigan's wonderful achievement in becoming world champion.

Now the conversations that followed were robust and they strayed somewhat from the great moment that we set out to mark.

For that we would like to apologise to Barry and his legion of supporters. It wasn't in the spirit of what the programme was designed to do and lots of you let us know your feelings. We're happy to recognise that.

Was an apology really necessary?

See Also: Joe Brolly And Eamon Dunphy Really Are Not Fans Of Barry McGuigan

PJ Browne
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