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O’Connell And Spence Nominated For RTE Sports Person Award

O’Connell And Spence Nominated For RTE Sports Person Award

The nominations for the RTE Sports Person of the Year award, Team of the Year award and the Manager of the Year award were announced this afternoon.

The winners will be revealed and presented with their awards at the RTÉ Sport Awards in association with Sport Ireland, which will be broadcast live on RTÉ One on Saturday, December 19 at 9.40pm.

Presented by Darragh Maloney, the live show will review what was another momentous year for Irish athletes and teams, and look back on the dramatic and memorable sporting moments of 2015.

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The 14 nominees for RTÉ Sport Sports Person of the Year are as follows:

Leighton Aspell – the first jockey to win back-to-back Aintree Grand Nationals for 41 years

Rena Buckley – earned Camogie and Football All-Stars in a year that saw her win her 15th and 16th All-Ireland titles

Michael Conlan – became the first ever Irishman to win World Boxing Championship gold with his bantamweight final victory against Murodjon Akhmadaliev in Doha

Andy Lee – defeated Matt Koborov to become the WBO middleweight champion of the world

Shane Lowry – the Clara native won his first US Tour event, picking up the prestigious World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational in August

Jack McCaffery – Dublin’s flying wing back was named Footballer of the Year

Rory McIlroy – finished a disrupted year as Europe’s top golfer by winning the Race to Dubai

Michael McKillop – won Double IPC World Championship gold, bringing his all-time major Championship gold medal haul to twelve

Paul O’Connell – Ireland’s second row giant led Ireland to their second Six Nations triumph in two years and was named Player of the Tournament in the process

TJ Reid – a key member of Kilkenny’s All Ireland winning hurling team and the 2015 Hurler of the Year

Sophie Spence – A key member of the Ireland Women’s Six Nations-winning side and one of three players up for the title of World Women’s Rugby Player of the Year

Richie Towell – scored the goals that clinched both the SSE Airtricity League title and FAI Irish Daily Mail Cup in a season that saw him score 25 goals from midfield

Jon Walters – the man Martin O’Neill singled out as the epitome of the Republic of Ireland’s team spirit, he scored the goals that cemented the Republic’s place at the 2016 European Championships.

This year the highly-coveted RTÉ Sport Team of the Year award will again be open to a public vote. The public will be able to vote for their favourite Irish team of 2015 by phone and text on the night. Voting lines will be open on the night with details announced at the beginning of the programme and on www.rte.ie/sport.

Celebrating the collaborative achievements of Irish athletes, the RTÉ Sport Team of the Year shortlist features:

Dublin Football – a clean sweep of honours in 2015
Kilkenny Hurling – claimed back-to-back All Ireland Hurling titles
Cork Camogie – won back-to-back All Ireland Camogie titles
Cork Ladies Football – won their 10th Ladies Football Championship in 11 years
Dundalk – won back-to-back SSE Airtricity League titles and sealed the double by winning the FAI Irish Daily Mail Cup
Ireland Men’s Rugby – Six Nations champions
Ireland Women’s Rugby – Six Nations champions
Ireland Men’s Hockey – beat England to win Euro bronze, became the first Irish team to qualify for an Olympic team event since 1948
Ireland Boxing – picked up a phenomenal 10 medals in 2015 at the European Games, the European Championships and the World Championships
Northern Ireland Soccer – qualified for their first ever European Championship finals
Republic of Ireland Soccer – qualified for Euro 2016 after a play-off win over Bosnia and Herzegovina
Special Olympics Team Ireland – 88 athletes brought home 82 medals, amassing 26 gold, 28 silver and 28 bronze medals
Ireland Women’s Cricket – won the Women’s World T20 qualifier, beating Bangladesh in the final in Bangkok, and make up the final nomination

In recognition of the huge effort behind the scenes and on the sidelines, the RTÉ Sport Manager of the Year award features the following 12 nominees:

Brian Cody – managed the Kilkenny hurlers to an 11th All-Ireland senior title under his charge
Craig Fulton – coached the Ireland national Men’s Hockey side to their first Olympics qualification in 108 years
Jim Gavin – managed the Dublin footballers to All-Ireland victory
Stephen Kenny – his Dundalk side’s retained their SSE Airtricity Premier Division title and added the FAI Irish Daily Mail Cup
Willie Mullins – trained a record eight winners at this year’s Cheltenham Festival
Paudie Murray – led his Cork Camogie side to back-to-back All Ireland Camogie titles
Martin O’Neill – managed the Republic of Ireland to Euro 2016 qualification after beating Bosnia and Herzegovina in the play-offs
Michael O’Neill – under his tutelage, Northern Ireland topped their Euro 2016 group and qualified for their first ever European Championship finals
Eamonn Ryan – the Cork Ladies Football manager guided his side to the Ladies senior football championship for the tenth time in eleven seasons
Joe Schmidt – coached the Ireland rugby team to back-to-back Six Nations Championships
Tom Tierney – his Ireland Women’s rugby team clinched a second Six Nations title in three years
Billy Walsh – the former head coach of Irish Boxing whose team won 10 medals this year at the European Games, the European Championships and the World Championships

The awards ceremony will also see the honour of the RTÉ/Sport Ireland Hall of Fame award presented to a very special Irish sporting legend.