RTÉ Sport has just announced the shortlist for the RTÉ Sports Person of the Year Award, the RTÉ Sports Team of the Year Award and the RTÉ Sports Manager of the Year Award.
There are three Donegal nominations. Karl Lacey, Donegal’s All Ireland winning centre back and GAA GPA All Star and Footballer of the Year is one of the ten nominees for the Sports person of the Year - others nominated include Rory McIlroy, the world numbe rone golfer and Olympic gold medal winner, Katie Taylor.
The Donegal gaelic football team are nominated for the team of the year, while Jim McGuinness is nominated in the manager of the year category. Meanwhile, there are Donegal connections with another nominee, Fionnuala Britton, European Cross Country Champion and the first women ever to retain the title.
The winners will be revealed and presented with their awards at The RTÉ Sports Awards in association with The Irish Sports Council which will be broadcast live on RTÉ One, Sunday 23 December at 9.30pm.
Presented by Darragh Maloney, the live show will review what was a momentous year for Irish athletes and teams, and look back on the dramatic and memorable sporting moments of 2012.
The RTÉ Sports Person of the Year shortlist features the following ten nominees: Rory McIlroy, world number one golfer and USPGA Champion; Mark Rohan, Handcycling Paralympic double gold medalist; Karl Lacey, Donegal’s All Ireland winning centre back and GAA GPA All Star and Footballer of the Year; Rob Kearney, Heineken Cup winner, ERC European player of the year and Guinness Rugby Writers player of the year; Katie Taylor, Olympic Gold medal winner and World Boxing Champion; Jason Smyth, double gold medal-winning paralympian and world record holder in the 100m and 200m; Henry Shefflin, All Ireland winner and GAA GPA Hurler of the Year; Michael McKillop, double gold medal-winning paralympian in the 500m and 800m; 19-year-old Joseph O’Brien, Irish Champion racing jockey and winner of the Irish Derby, Epsom Derby and 2000 Guineas; and Fionnuala Britton, European Cross Country Champion and the first women ever to retain the title.
This year the highly-coveted RTÉ Team of The Year Award will be open to a public vote. The public will be able to vote for their favourite Irish team of 2012 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
Celebrating the collaborative achievements of Irish athletes, the RTÉ Sports Team of the Year shortlist features: three time Heineken European Cup winners Leinster; All Ireland and Ulster Football Champions, Donegal; All Ireland Ladies Football champions six out of last seven years, Cork; the 16 medal-winning Irish Paralympic team; winners of Airtricity League Premier Division title for the first time in 35 years, Sligo Rovers; back-to-back All Ireland Hurling Champions, Kilkenny; three in a row All Ireland Camogie Champions, Wexford; the Irish Boxing Team who won a record four medals at the London 2012 Olympics; and European Champions, the Irish Women’s Cross Country Team.
In recognition of the huge effort behind the scenes and on the sidelines, the RTÉ Sports Manager of the Year award features the following seven nominees: Kilkenny Hurling manager Brian Cody, who guided his team to a ninth championship title in 12 years; Wexford Camogie Manager JJ Doyle, who managed the senior side to a historic 3-in-a-row All Ireland Championships, head coach with the IABI High Performance Unit Billy Walsh, following Irish boxing’s most successful Olympics ever; Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke, whose side won the EA Sports Cup and qualified for the Europa League; Heineken European Cup-winning Coach Joe Schmidt, bridging a 20 year gap; Donegal Football Manager Jim McGuinness, delivering the All Ireland Football title to the north west; and the most successful Cork Ladies Football manager ever, Eamonn Ryan.
The awards ceremony will also see the honour of the RTÉ/Irish Sports Council’s Hall of Fame Award presented to a very special Irish sporting legend.