RTÉ apologise to Barry McGuigan over comments by Joe Brolly and Eamon Dunphy

RTÉ have apologised to Barry McGuigan for their discussion on his 1985 world title victory as part of their series ‘Ireland’s Greatest Sporting Moment’, writes Stephen Barry.

Panellists Joe Brolly and Eamon Dunphy has strongly argued that McGuigan’s win over Eusebio Pedroza shouldn’t be in contention to be the greatest moment of the 1980s.

That crown was won by Ray Houghton’s goal against England at Euro ’88, but host Des Cahill returned to the topic as he opened last night’s show by apologising to McGuigan for the personal nature of the debate.

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

“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.”

Brolly had said he was biased against the Clones Cyclone: “Anybody but McGuigan, I'd like to start with... I just don't like the man. I am biased against him. I want to declare that just in the interest of honest discourse.”

He also said McGuigan’s draw both sides of the border “wasn't the real thing”, but was “showbiz, the white dove on the shorts and all of that”.

Dunphy agreed with Brolly that much of that was “hype”.

He added McGuigan’s success was down to “a succession of easy fights” lined up by manager Barney Eastwood and a title fight against an “over the hill” Pedroza.

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By Stephen Barry

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