Watch: ‘This is going to be an extremely long year’ – when Joanne Cantwell started new era by taking on Joe Brolly
Joanne Cantwell’s feisty exchange with Cork legend Dónal Óg Cusack got a lot of attention on Sunday – but it isn’t the first time that the RTÉ GAA presenter has taken on one of the station’s star pundits.
Ahead of the Munster hurling action last weekend, Cantwell quizzed Cusack on disparaging remarks he made about the second-tier football competition, the Tailteann Cup.
The former Cork goalkeeper had called it ‘a sort of Gaelic football Grand National for disappointed also-rans.’
Cantwell called him up on his comments and Cusack bristled at the questioning.
“You decided to talk about the Tailteann Cup and refer to it as a Grand National for non-runners . . . or for also-rans. Why would you do that?” Cantwell began.
“That’s not exactly what I said… Joanne, we’re here to talk about hurling and the next time you come asking me the questions, make sure you quote me correctly,” Cusack said.
The exchange got plenty of attention with many people praising Cantwell for taking Cusack on, something she has been no stranger to since replacing Michael Lyster as the lead GAA presenter on RTÉ for the 2019 season.
On the opening night of League Sunday in January of that year, Cantwell worked with Joe Brolly and Colm Cooper and didn’t wait long before clashing with the famously outspoken Brolly.
In a discussion about the forward mark, Cantwell’s dogged interjections prompted the Derry pundit to say, ‘Are you going to argue with me over every single thing that I say, Joanne?’.
When delving into Monaghan's use of the offensive mark, Brolly said that the committee brought it in to aid big target-men on the edge of the square, with the Farney county using it in more creative ways in the win over Dublin.
Cantwell then questioned how Brolly knew that was the sole reason for the rule being brought in, leading to a testy exchange.
Cantwell: 'How do you know that was the only reason?'
Brolly: 'Because that was the stated reason behind it, that was the philosophy behind it.'
Cantwell: 'But they could have envisaged all of it.'
Brolly: 'Are you going to argue with me over every single thing that I say, Joanne?'
Cantwell: 'If it requires an argument, yes.'
Brolly: 'This is going to be an extremely long year'.
Brolly subsequently left RTÉ at the end of the 2019 season. You can watch the full exchange below.