Joe Brolly


Joe Brolly : biography

25 June 1969 –


  • Ryan Cup – Winner (1): 1992


  • All Stars Award – Winner (2): 1996, 1997
  • All Stars Award – Nominated (runner up): ?

Note: The above lists may be incomplete. Please add any other honours you know of.

Personal and professional life

Brolly is the son of noted traditional singer and Limavady Sinn Féin councillor Anne Brolly. His father Francie, also a traditional musician, played Gaelic football for Derry in the 1960s, and was later a Sinn Féin councillor and MLA. Joe Brolly is also the first cousin of Derry player Liam Hinphey and Monaghan player Vincent Corey, and second cousin to Tyrone footballers Colm and Plunkett Donaghy. Joe’s brother-in-law Ciaran Heron plays hurling for Antrim.

Brolly was a boarder in Saint Patrick’s Grammar School, Armagh. He played basketball for Ireland as a schoolboy. After school he went to Trinity College, Dublin, before doing a postgraduate course at Queen’s University Belfast. He was a prominent member of the Dublin University Central Athletic Club (DUCAC) in his Trinity days, and became a member of the student executive. He is married and has five children.

As a barrister he has specialised in criminal matters and has defended Irish republicans in court. He was involved in a UK Supreme Court case in 2011 that established a right to compensation for a miscarriage of justice without the requirement to prove the innocence of the wrongly convicted person (in this instance the Derry republicans Eamonn McDermott and Raymond McCartney). report of Supreme Court case. Retrieved 13 May 2011.

He also works as a journalist, writing a column for Gaelic Life and the Ireland Mail on Sunday. A radio and television football pundit, he is a regular on the long-running RTÉ programme The Sunday Game.

Coaching career

Brolly helped out with the Antrim team that finished runners-up in the 2007 Tommy Murphy Cup and winners of the 2008 competition.Said by Michael Lyster and Brolly during the RTÉ Sunday Game Live coverage of the All-Ireland Qualifiers Round 3 games. Down versus Wexford and Tyrone versus Mayo. (The Tommy Murphy Cup final had preceded the two games) – 2 August 2008.