In praise of: Joe Brolly

The former Derry footballer and acerbic GAA pundit has shown himself to have a heart of gold

Joe Brolly: “The point of this is to make sure we have a fit-for-purpose organ donation system which works.”

Joe Brolly: “The point of this is to make sure we have a fit-for-purpose organ donation system which works.”

Sat, Apr 20, 2013, 06:00

While he did damage on the pitch and takes no prisoners off it, former Derry footballer and acerbic GAA pundit Joe Brolly really has shown himself to have a heart of gold in recent months.

Last year he donated one of his kidneys to an acquaintance and ever since he has been campaigning to get more people to carry donor cards.

This week he stepped up that campaign and appeared before an Oireachtas committee where he called for a new “opt-out” organ donation system to be introduced which would see all of us automatically considered to be donors in the event of our death unless next of kin raise objections.

“The point of this is to make sure we have a fit-for-purpose organ donation system which works,” he said.

“It’s just a normal part of the dying process. What this will do is make organ donation the norm in society.”

Such a system is in place in several countries across the EU and according to Brolly it would have a significant beneficial effect on organ donation rates.

Even if the rules are not changed – and such a change would require an overhaul of the donation infrastructure – he has still done a major service by raising the awareness of what is a life or death issue for many Irish people.