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Dubs Dominate Donnybrook Ceremony As Lowry Bags Top Prize

Shane Lowry took home the top prize at this year’s RTÉ Sport Awards after the Clara man was named as Sportsperson of the Year for 2019. 

The yearly event at Donnybrook highlights Ireland’s greatest sporting achievements of the year and while many thought that 2018 would have been tough to top, upon reflection, 2019 was just as successful a year for Irish sport.

Despite some huge names with incredible stories being nominated for the top award, it was always difficult to look beyond Clara golfer Lowry who stormed his way to a first major title when he collected the 148th Open Championship on Irish soil in Portrush back in July.

The popular Offaly man used his acceptance speech to send his condolences to the family of John Buckley, a native of Lowry’s village Clara who died last week.

rte sport awards

“I’m just a normal country lad from Clara, and speaking of Clara, I just want to say we’re about to bury a very good GAA man tomorrow,” Lowry said.

“I was down at the funeral [removal] today and I’m going tomorrow, and I’d just like to dedicate this to him and his family. John Buckley.

“Family, my hometown, my county and my country mean a lot to me.”

The RTÉ Young Sportsperson of the Year award managed to remain in County Down as pommel horse maestro Rhys McClenaghan took home the award for the second successive year.

McClenaghan finished the year by becoming the first Irish gymnast to medal at the World Championships when he claimed bronze a few months back thus ensuring his qualification for Tokyo 2020.

The Manager of the Year and Team of the Year recipients were never much in doubt as Jim Gavin and his, now former, Dublin charges collected the respective awards after becoming the first-ever senior men’s team to claim five successive All-Ireland titles.

A remarkable career in Irish athletics saw the legend Sonia O’Sullivan inducted into the RTÉ Sports Hall of Fame just a few weeks after her 50th birthday.

The former 5,000m Olympic silver medalist spoke quite candidly after receiving her award about how she didn’t, in fact, feel any pressure going into Sydney 2000, four years after illness deprived her of performing to her best at the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

The awards were decided by a 12-person judging panel rather than a public vote which had been the case in years gone by.

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