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brolly axed Joe Brolly's comments on Claire Byrne Live united Ireland debate designed to 'cause a reaction', says DUP

Brolly later took to Twitter in cryptic apology to RTE and DUP

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Joe Brolly

Joe Brolly

Joe Brolly

The DUP have accused politics and sports commentator Joe Brolly of trying to "provoke a reaction" with comments he made surrounding the party on an RTE live televised debate focusing on a united Ireland last night.

Brolly, was axed from the show yesterday evening after making allegations in regards to the DUP while the party did not have a representative on air to counter.

After he made the comments, host Claire Byrne and the producers made the decision to cut Brolly's live video link.

Speaking to SundayWorld.com, a DUP spokesperson said: "Joe Brolly is no stranger to controversy and often appears to revel in remarks designed to provoke a reaction.

"Whilst this may have been Mr Brolly's advert for a united Ireland, the DUP is focused on highlighting the benefits of remaining within the United Kingdom whether economic or our NHS. Those are benefits enjoyed by every citizen, including very notably over the last 12 months and continuing through the Covid vaccination programme."

On cutting Brolly's feed, Ms Byrne said they made the decision after she asked the pundit to withhold from making allegations about the DUP whenever the party did not have a representative on the show to defend their position.

During the course of the show, Brolly, referring to the DUP, said: “You see them chuckling and guffawing when people are trying to have a serious discussion.

“Laughing at the Irish language, laughing at Gaelic sports, the homophobia, the racism - all these things.”

The DUP's Gregory Campbell had been on the show earlier, however he was not live when Brolly made the claims.

When Ms Byrne explained to Brolly that he would have to refrain from making the comments as Campbell was not there to defend his party, he responded: "Which one would he deny?"

Brolly later took to his Twitter account, posting cryptic messages surrounding his removal from the show.

One read: 'I was taken off air and told it was because RTE could not risk me saying the DUP were homophobic, racist or sectarian. I must apologise to the DUP at once.'

Attached to the post were links to news articles surrounding controversial comments made by DUP party members in the past.

In further tweets he provided images of DUP politicians captioned with comments allegedly made by each of them surrounding homosexuality.

In another tweet, Brolly wrote: 'My apologies again to RTE and the DUP. '

Earlier in the show, Campbell, when talking about his thoughts on a United Ireland, said: "We are British, there is nothing you can say or nothing you can do that will change that."

Other commentators who participated in the debate included Alliance’s Naomi Long, former Taoiseach John Bruton, Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald, loyalist activist Jamie Bryson and former Ireland and Ulster rugby player Andrew Trimble.

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