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Joe Brolly Slams Appointment Of "Insider" Tom Ryan As Director General

Joe Brolly Slams Appointment Of "Insider" Tom Ryan As Director General
By Arthur James O'Dea
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An appointment that Joe Brolly had held out some hope for as a potential catalyst for change within the GAA, the RTÉ pundit expressed his disappointment at the news that Tom Ryan had been handed the reins of the GAA.

The new Director General of the association, Carlow-man Ryan had previously held the position of the GAA's finance director.

When you are calling for radical change as Brolly regularly does, such a decision is rarely going to scratc that itch. Speaking on RTÉ Radio One in response to this news, Brolly's analysis of the "insider" Ryan doesn't appear to suggest he has had his wish come to fruition:

As expected, (it's) an insider, a financial man, a numbers man. Not someone who's known to GAA folk.

In essence, he's Peter McKenna, the commercial manager's deputy, his right hand man. Unfortunately, it's symptomatic of the malaise we have in the GAA.


Brolly's increasing concern for the organisation he has devoted much of his life to is rooted in the commercial impetus of the GAA as he perceives it.

Putting profit before people, for all his desire for a seismic shift in direction, the Derry man wasn't really expecting anything more than this:


It was obvious that if this was any other corporation - given the problems that we've had with structure, leadership and strategy that we've had over the past 15 years - they would have been going for an outside candidate, someone with vision, with strategy.

What is there about Tom Ryan that suggests that he can lead in such difficult times where we need to protect ourselves against the modern world, the commercial world?

What Tom Ryan will do is just 'more of the same'. I heard him saying months ago that if it's (the GAA) not broke, don't fix it.

Looking forward, Brolly believes that the 'broken' elements of the GAA will now carry on untended to:

Unfortunately, there was some optimism at one stage that there might be a move towards tackling the real problems that we have, but this will just be more of the same now.

And I think it's a pretty bleak day for the association, I must say.

Although he is known for his occasionally extreme outlook on certain aspects of the GAA's hierarchical structure, Brolly's concerns will surely strike a chord with many of those similarly disenfranchised with the association's priorities.

See Also: Watch: Kilkenny Hurlers' Carpool Karaoke Is A Joy To Behold

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