'amends' | 

PSNI to probe Joe Brolly's comments regarding kidney donation 'to atone' for taking 'human life' by others

The GAA pundit did not elaborate further on the details of his remarks
Joe Brolly

Joe Brolly

The PSNI has said it will probe interview comments made by GAA pundit Joe Brolly that his decision in 2012 to donate a kidney to a stranger was to “atone for the taking of human life by people close to me”.

Mr Brolly made the remarks to Virgin Media Sports in which he explained he was “so excited” during the donation kidney process and “felt ecstatic” afterwards.

“Then I hit the wall shortly after that. I think for years I had blocked out childhood – I couldn’t even remember childhood properly.

“I realised soon afterwards that the reason I’d given the kidney was to, I think, atone for the taking of human life by people close to me, and to sort of somehow make amends for that.”

The pundit did not elaborate further on the circumstances or details on his remarks, but did reveal his decision to donate a kidney made a positive impact on himself.

“I suppose feel that I could breathe more easily then – that I could take my place and have some peace in society,” he explained.

Mr Brolly also described his childhood in Dungiven and how IRA members, including the late Martin McGuinness, would use his home as a safe house while on the run.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “We are aware of comments made in the interview, and of subsequent press reporting in relation to those comments, and will review the content of the interview.”

It is understood that officers from the PSNI’s Legacy Investigation Branch will be involved in reviewing the video footage, the News Letter has reported.

The revelation has led to Kenny Donaldson of IVU (Innocent Victims United) to insist the PSNI should examine the video “to establish if there are grounds for Mr Brolly to be spoken to on these matters”.

“What taking of human life is Mr Brolly referring and who close to him took life?” Mr Donaldson told the News Letter.

“Giving a kidney is an admirable thing to do but if Mr Brolly or anyone else has information on serious crimes having been committed, they need to disclose that knowledge and in-so-doing, potentially bring transparency to events which have created many innocent victims”, added Mr Donaldson.

In the video the pundit also hit out at what he described as an “orthodoxy that started in the south”, namely that everything in Northern Ireland would have been fine “if nationalists had not taken to the gun – completely ignoring the reality of soldiers just coming in and machine gunning people to death and then walking away”.

The News Letter reported that Mr Brolly has not responded to requests for comment.

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