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Leinster, Donegal and Rory Mac dominate RTÉ sports award nominations

Will it be a case of Jimmy McGuinness winning more accolades at the gala ceremony?

'We're in boys' - Donegal celebrate their inclusion.
'We're in boys' - Donegal celebrate their inclusion.
Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

DONEGAL, KILKENNY AND LEINSTER will face off, along with seven other sporting collectives, for the 2012 RTÉ Team of the Year.

The All-Ireland and Heineken Cup winners are up for a public vote that will decide upon the nation’s favourite team.

The shortlist includes Donegal, Leinster, Kilkenny, the Irish Paralympics team, Team Ireland [London 2012], Sligo Rovers, Cork Ladies’ football team, the Irish Olympic boxing squad, Wexford’s camogie players and the Irish Women’s cross country team.

The awards will be announced at a live RTÉ One broadcast on 23 December, from 9:30pm.

10 nominees have also been announced for RTÉ Sports Person of the Year.

They are golfer Rory McIlroy, Donegal centre back Karl Lacey, Paralympians Jason Smyth, Michael McKillop and Mark Rohan, Leinster’s Rob Kearney, Olympic Gold Medalist Katie Taylor, jockey Joseph O’Brien and Kilkenny’s Henry Shefflin.

Also included is Fionnuala Britton, who retained her European Cross Country title on Sunday.

Who’s the [top] boss?

The Manager of the Year award will also be decided on the night.

Head of the Irish boxing association’s high performance unit Billy Walsh is likely to battle it out with Donegal supremo Jim McGuinness and Leinster coach Joe Schmidt for the prize.

Also included in the shortlist are Mike Cooke of Drogheda United, Kilkenny’s Brian Cody, Cork Ladies’ Eamonn Ryan and Wexford camogie manager JJ Doyle.

Ian Baraclough, who coached Sligo Rovers to the Airtricity title, is not included.

Presented by Darragh Maloney, the awards will review what was a ‘momentous year’ for Irish athletes and teams, and look back on the dramatic and memorable sporting moments.

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 the RTÉ website.

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President Higgins congratulates Fionnuala Britton and Irish team

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Patrick McCarry

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