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Brian O'Driscoll is Ireland's most popular sports star

BOD number one for second year in a row, fending off Padraig Harrington, Roy Keane and Sonia O’Sullivan.

Brian O'Driscoll signs some autographs for fans at training in Clondalkin RFC last month
Brian O'Driscoll signs some autographs for fans at training in Clondalkin RFC last month
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

IRISH RUGBY CAPTAIN Brian O’Driscoll has been ranked as the most popular sports star in the country for the second year in a row in a new poll.

The poll, conducted by Onside Sponsorship, puts O’Driscoll ahead of Padraig Harrington, Roy Keane, Sonia O’Sullivan and Henry Shefflin. In a slight shock, O’Driscoll also ranked as the most popular rugby player in Munster ahead of local heroes Ronan O’Gara and Paul O’Connell.

As a group, the poll found that golfers received the most widespread admiration in Ireland, as reported in today’s Sunday Business Post. Managing Director of Onside Sponsorship John Trainor lauded O’Driscoll’s popularity as a result of effective brand management.

“Brian’s brand is clearly being managed very well, with his media appearances and endorsements professionally managed, ensuring he maintains his broad appeal to the Irish public off and on the field.”

Sonia O’Sullivan is the only woman in the top ten, with Donegal pair Shay Given and Packie Bonner entering the top ten for the first time at the expense of DJ Carey and Bernard Dunne.

Newly-crowned World boxing champion Katie Taylor ranked fifteenth in the Onside poll, while Donal Óg Cusack also polled well in the list of the most admired GAA players.

Onside Sports Monitor 2010
1.Brian O’Driscoll
2.Padraig Harrington
3.Roy Keane
4.Sonia O’Sullivan
5.Ronan O’Gara
6.Paul O’Connell
7.Robbie Keane
8.Henry Shefflin
9.Shay Given
10.Packie Bonner

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