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'We're about to bury a very good GAA man' - Lowry dedicates RTÉ Sportsperson award to late Clara native

Rhys McClenaghan, meanwhile, was named RTÉ Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year for the second year running.

Shane Lowry dedicates his RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year award to a fellow Clara man, John Buckley, and the latter's family.
Shane Lowry dedicates his RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year award to a fellow Clara man, John Buckley, and the latter's family.

SHANE LOWRY HAS been named RTÉ Sport Sportsperson of the Year for 2019 after his major-winning heroics at Royal Portrush in July.

The Clara native romped to victory in the Open, battling difficult conditions to become just the fifth-ever Irish golfer to life the Claret Jug on an emotional day in North Antrim.

Lowry also won his first tournament in three and a half years with victory in the Abu Dhabi Championship at the start of 2019.

Speaking as he was presented with the trophy by his father, former All-Ireland football winner Brendan Lowry, the 32-year-old dedicated his RTÉ award to a fellow Clara native and a “very good GAA man”, John Buckley, who recently passed away.

“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 popular Lowry beat Seamus Callanan, Stephen Cluxton, Niamh Kilkenny, Ciara Mageean, Denise O’Sullivan, Sanita Puspure, Jason Smyth, Katie Taylor and Rhys McClenaghan to top honours at the RTÉ Sport awards ceremony in Dublin on Saturday evening.

The awards were decided upon by a 12-person judging panel selected by the State broadcaster, and not a public vote as had been the case during recent years.

Pommel horse maestro McClenaghan of County Down, the first-ever Irish gymnast to medal at the World Championships, was named RTÉ Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year for the second year running.

Olympic 5,000m silver-medallist and former World 5,000m champion Sonia O’Sullivan received the RTÉ Sport Hall of Fame Award in recognition of her plethora of achievements in the Irish singlet throughout a remarkable career.

Former Dublin manager Jim Gavin took the coaching honours on the evening, while his five-in-a-row-winning Dubs were crowned Team of the Year following their history-making 2019 campaign.

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