RTÉ HAS REVEALED its shortlist for the 2015 Sports Person of the Year award while the nominees for the the Team of the Year and Manager of the Year awards have also been announced.
The annual awards ceremony will take place on Saturday 19 December as Ireland’s sporting elite are recognised for their achievements over the last twelve months.
There are 14 nominees in total for the main award with last year’s winner Rory McIlroy among those in contention.
After winning the prestigious Bridgestone Invitational, Shane Lowry is included, as are Paul O’Connell, jockey Leighton Aspell, Michael McKillop and rugby star Sophie Spence.
Michael Conlan will be among the favourites to scoop the gong after becoming Ireland’s first ever World Championship gold medallist while Andy Lee is also nominated.
There are three GAA stars included as Football of the Year Jack McCaffrey and Hurler of the Year TJ Reid are joined by Cork’s Rena Buckley.
Richie Towell is rewarded for a stellar season with Dundalk and the hero of Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualifying campaign Jon Walters will be heavily tipped to claim the silverware.
Ahead of his UFC 194 showdown with Jose Aldo tonight, Conor McGregor completes the list.
In the Team of the Year category, the Dublin footballers, Kilkenny hurlers and Cork camogie side are joined by league and cup winners Dundalk as well as the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland national teams.
Joe Schmidt’s Ireland are also nominated while success on the international stage has given the Irish men’s hockey team, women’s cricket team, boxing squad and Special Olympics team a place on the list.
The public will be able to vote for their choice.
Finally, the Manager of the Year award will be contested by 12 nominees while the Sport Ireland Hall of Fame Award will also be presented on the night.
RTÉ Sport Person of the Year Nominees:
Leighton Aspell, Rena Buckley, Michael Conlan, Andy Lee, Shane Lowry, Jack McCaffrey, Rory McIlroy, Michael McKillop, Paul O’Connell, TJ Reid, Sophie Spence, Richie Towell, Jon Walters, Conor McGregor.
RTÉ Sports Team of the Year Nominees:
Dublin footballers, Kilkenny hurlers, Cork camogie, Cork Ladies football, Dundalk, Ireland women’s cricket team, Ireland men’s rugby team, Ireland men’s hockey team, Irish boxing team, Northern Ireland soccer team, Republic of Ireland soccer team, Special Olympics team.
RTÉ Sports Manager of the Year Nominees:
Brian Cody, Craig Fulton, Jim Gavin, Stephen Kenny, Willie Mullins, Paudie Murray, Martin O’Neill, Michael O’Neill, Eamonn Ryan, Joe Schmidt, Billy Walsh, Tom Tierney.