All-Ireland star Brolly donates kidney

Published Saturday, 06 October 2012
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All-Ireland winning footballer Joe Brolly is recovering in hospital after donating one of his kidneys to a friend.

All-Ireland star Brolly donates kidney
Brolly (left) and Finnegan after the operation. (© PA)

The 42-year-old former Derry star gave the organ to Belfast PR executive and fellow GAA enthusiast Shane Finnegan.

"I'm honoured to have been in the position to help Shane," he said, speaking from Guy's Hospital in London where the surgery took place earlier this week.

"He's been waiting for a transplant for over six years and when I heard that the only possibility of one was through a live donor I contacted his medical team.

"And of course in my considered opinion it's all going according to plan - and thankfully the doctors concur."

Brolly, a two-time all-star who is now a barrister and TV sports pundit, knows Mr Finnegan from coaching an under-10s team at St Brigid's gaelic club in Belfast.

His 40-year-old friend has suffered from kidney problems for 20 years and has had two failed transplants previously - one of them after 12 years.

This selfless act of humanity and compassion is truly one of the greatest expressions of friendship ever witnessed.

Ulster GAA president Aogan O'Fearghail

"Joe's altruism is overwhelming and of course there are no words to thank him or his family for his wonderful gift," said father of three Mr Finnegan.

"I know it's early days but I'm so relieved that it's all going well for both of us so far."

Ulster GAA president Aogan O'Fearghail said Mr Brolly's donation was "one of the greatest expressions of friendship ever witnessed".

He continued: "Joe Brolly's actions are the embodiment of the values of the GAA.

"Joe has given Shane Finnegan a second chance and he has inspired the entire community by reminding us of the core value of the GAA in that you give, you don't take.

"I send the prayers and thoughts of all the GAA in Ulster to Shane, Joe and both their families and I look forward to seeing both men back on pitch coaching the Under 10's of St. Bridget's GAA."

© UTV News
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7 Comments
beano in usa wrote (682 days ago):
your the man joe-fair play to you! wish you both all the best in the years to come god bless
Shay in Cookstown wrote (683 days ago):
Well done Joe. Being a Tyrone stalwart you could understand my dislike of everything Derry offers. You are the exception by a mile. Good luck.
hilary mcgrath in derry wrote (683 days ago):
Joe your a star, wish i had the courage you had, what a great thing to do.Hope all goes well for everyone. Great story and act of great kindness.xxx
bernie in Castlederg wrote (683 days ago):
It is great to hear of such a fantastic story in the midst of all the terrible stories. Joe Brolly is admirable.....
Boru in Ireland wrote (683 days ago):
Long life and happiness to you both, Joe and Shane - you deserve it.
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