Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning squad, represented by team captain Brian O’Driscoll, Jerry Flannery and Luke Fitzgerald, were amongst those honoured at Saturday’s People of the Year Awards ceremony at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.
Organised by Rehab, sponsored by QUINN-healthcare and televised live on RTÉ One, the People of the Year Awards provide a unique opportunity for the Irish public to honour outstanding contributions made by individuals and organisations to life in Ireland.
The Awards this year celebrate their 35th anniversary and were presented by RTÉ’s Gráinne Seoige for the third year running, with the Tánaiste, Mary Coughlan TD, as guest of honour at the event.
Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning squad were awarded a People of the Year Award for their skill, dedication and sporting success and for lifting the entire nation in difficult times.
Following Triple Crown successes in 2004, 2006 and 2007, and in a stunning display of true grit and character, this ‘golden generation’ of Irish rugby earlier this year collected the RBS 6 Nations trophy and the country’s first Grand Slam victory for 61 years.
In so doing, they achieved their destiny as Ireland’s greatest ever rugby side. The award was presented by rugby legend Willie John McBride and Rehab Chief Executive Angela Kerins.
Brian O’Driscoll also received a surprise People of the Year award on the night in recognition of his personal achievement and immense contribution to Irish rugby as captain of the Ireland and Leinster squads and as a Lions player.
In particular, he was cited as being an inspiration to his country and for his outstanding qualities of leadership, courage and flair, which were pivotal in assuring the Irish team of Grand Slam triumph.
The winners of the People of the Year Awards are chosen by members of the public through a nominations process and finalised by a panel of adjudicators.
For more information on the Awards, please visit www.peopleoftheyear.com.