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Joe Brolly needs to 'examine his conscience' when it comes to GAA punditry - Shane Curran

In his new autobiography ‘Cake’, Curran has highlighted the problem of pundits fuelling the online ‘trolling’ of GAA players.

Joe Brolly 22/3/2013 'Joe seems to think it's all just harmless fun' Source: Lorcan Doherty

JOE BROLLY NEEDS to ‘examine his conscience’ with his GAA punditry style and handle the platform of ‘The Sunday Game’ with ‘a lot more sensitivity’.

That’s the view of former Roscommon goalkeeper Shane Curran who has highlighted Brolly as an example of a TV pundit who fuels the online ‘trolling’ of GAA players.

Curran made the remarks in his new autobiography ‘Cake’.

“Joe Brolly, for example, is someone who really needs to examine his conscience. Joe seems to think it’s all just harmless fun. But there are consequences when he goes over the top with his facetious remarks.

“People get hurt. There is collateral damage and it can run deep. He has a massive platform on The Sunday Game and he needs to use it with a lot more sensitivity.

“Online bullying is one very important reason why pundits need to be very careful with the language they use and the opinions they articulate. It’s a growing industry, media punditry, and thankfully a lot of the commentators are fair and conscientious about what they say.

“But there are exceptions – guys who are far too cavalier in their comments and criticisms. They seem to have no idea of the hurt they cause the players and their families.

“Which is all the more surprising, given that they were all players themselves at one time or another. They must have short memories. But they seem to have one eye on the ratings and another on the match they’re supposed to be analysing.

“They are using players and managers as fodder for entertainment, while belittling and undermining them. And in doing so they are giving free licence to the online trolls to do their worst.”

Shane Curran Shane Curran won an AIB All-Ireland senior club football medal with St Brigid's in 2013. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Curran also signalled how mental health continues to be a hugely significant issue in the GAA.

“The strain has become excessive, the demands are unreasonable, the pressure is sometimes overwhelming. I think it has become a major issue for the GAA. Fellas are cracking up under the pressure and it’s a problem that could become a runaway train that will cause a lot of damage it it’s not addressed in a meaningful way.

“The whole question of mental health has never been as urgent or as serious as it is nowadays. Mental illness is affecting large numbers of our young people in particular.

*******

Cake by Shane Curran is published by Penguin Ireland. More information can be found here.

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Fintan O'Toole

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