18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
Commenting on the award win at Wednesday's ceremony, O'Driscoll said: "This award has capped a fantastic season for me so far and also for Irish rugby.
"This trophy has escaped me for seven years so it's great to finally get up on stage to collect it as it is the ultimate award in Irish rugby.
"I take great pleasure in winning it as it comes from the people who I respect most, my fellow players."
It was a memorable night also for Munster and Ireland centre Keith Earls, who was named IRUPA Nature Valley Young Player of the Year, while Leinster and Ireland number 8 Jamie Heaslip picked up the Tyrone Crystal Try of the Year for his stunning effort against France at Croke Park.
Heaslip's Leinster team-mate Stan Wright, who has been an almost constant presence in the province's front row over the past two season, collect the Unsung Hero award, and former Munster and Ireland back rower Anthony Foley was deservedly inducted into the IRUPA Hall of Fame.
Commenting on the awards, IRUPA CEO Niall Woods said: "Winning one of these awards is the recognition that players want.
"The winners can take great pride in knowing that they have the total respect of those who they play with and against.
"Congratulations to all those nominated and in particular to Brian, Jamie, Keith, Stan and Axel in winning what are the most sought after awards in Irish rugby."
The awards were presented in the presence of some of the game's most well-known names including former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio, Leinster and Wallaby star Rocky Elsom, Lions captain Paul O'Connell, ex-Ulster and Ireland number 10 David Humphreys and Munster, Ireland and Lions legend Keith Wood.
2009 BORD GAIS ENERGY IRISH RUGBY UNION PLAYERS' ASSOCIATION AWARDS:
IRUPA Players' Player of the Year
Winner: Brian O'Driscoll (Nominated: Tommy Bowe and Stephen Ferris)
IRUPA Unsung Hero
Winner: Stan Wright (Nominated: Rory Best, John Hayes)
IRUPA Hall of Fame
IRUPA Try of the Year
Winner: Jamie Heaslip - Ireland v France (Nominated: Tommy Bowe - Ireland v Wales; Brian O'Driscoll - Leinster v Wasps)
IRUPA Young Player of the Year
Winner: Keith Earls (Nominated: Darren Cave, Cian Healy)
IRUPA Rugby Supporters' Player of the Year
Winner: Brian O'Driscoll