Joe Brolly: Synchronised goalies

After Galway had beaten Sligo in this year’s Connacht semi-final with a last-minute goal, Padraic Joyce was asked why his team had been so listless. He said, “It’s very hard to motivate these players to play on a Saturday evening.” The good news for Padraic is that Galway don’t have to play Donegal in Croke Park […]

JOE BROLLY: Send in a SWAT team and the end of the empire

CIARAN Foran, Dave’s brother from the great Dublin team of the ‘90s, taxied me to Croke Park on Saturday. “Where is your wife from?” he said. “Mayo,” I replied. “I was the first man that ever wore white shoes in Mayo,” he said. “I wore white loafers with a tassle on them at a dance […]

JOE BROLLY: The OakLeafers’ reprieve

IT was as if the last eight weeks were a bad dream. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, our boys woke up on sunday morning in their own beds, their mothers waking them up with a cup of tea and buttered toast. There were very few Derry fans at the game in Castlebar. I […]

JOE BROLLY: The precision of winners

MAYO’S efforts against Dublin in the modern era have been as successful as Enoch Burke’s court cases. Another Mayo man who seems to be cursed. Yet, for all those defeats in big games, Mayo remain the most popular and entertaining team in Gaelic football. Like a happy labrador lining up in the traps against a […]

JOE BROLLY: A toothpick to save penalties

AFTER a lot of rumours had done the round this week that the players had ousted Mickey Harte, and that Enda Muldoon was taking over until the end of the season under the discreet supervision of Rory Gallagher, the Gaelic Life’s Niall McCoy brought the gossip to an end. Niall tweeted, “Mickey Harte remains Derry […]

JOE BROLLY: Jimmy’s bursting bubbles

THE night of the Ulster final, when they arrived home with the cup, Jimmy McGuinness stood in front of his players and addressed the huge crowd. “These next three games are massive for us. Really really big games. And we have got to put them front and centre. These players are a different animal now. […]

JOE BROLLY: Winners and losers

SUNDAY’S final was a fascinating study in winning and losing. I thought back to 1993 and what was in our minds throughout that season. The best way to describe it is that we were like the human cannonball at the circus. He climbs into the cannon. Gets shot out of it. Hits (hopefully) the safety net. […]

JOE BROLLY: The children of Donegal

SON: Dad, why did you name my sister Jolene? Dad: Because your mother loved the song Jolene. Son: Thanks Dad. Dad: No problem, Jimmy’s Winning Matches. Advertisement On Sunday in Celtic Park, Gavin Devlin was spied on top of the stand on the gantry, carefully watching Donegal as they wore down Tyrone. “A week too […]

JOE BROLLY: The litmus test

FR Liam McClarey, our team chaplain when we won the All-Ireland in 1993, had an audience with his Holiness the Pope in Rome last Thursday. Liam played on the Glack team that won the Derry Junior Championship in 1981. The competition is called the Joe Brolly Cup (after my late grandfather) and as my father […]