Shane Lowry was announced as the RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year last night and, in a touching gesture, dedicated the award to a late friend from his own home town of Clara who passed away only a few days ago.
The Offaly man has had a tremendous year on the course, the highlight of it being his first major win at Royal Portrush back in July. As he received his award, Lowry claimed: "My home town, my county and my country mean a lot to me." However, despite being the man of the moment, he also honoured John Russell, the Clara native who died recently.
— RTEgolf (@RTEgolf) December 14, 2019
Interviewed by Darragh Maloney and Joanne Cantwell, Lowry said:
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 and I was down at the funeral today and I'm going tomorrow. I'd just like to dedicate this to him and his family - John Buckley.
Meanwhile, Jim Gavin was honoured as Manager of the Year while the Dublin footballers claimed Team of the Year after winning a historic five-in-a-row at the end of the summer. Gymnast Rhys McClenaghan won Young Sportsperson of the Year for the second year in a row after winning Ireland's first-ever medal at the Gymnastics World Championships.
The Hall of Fame awarded was presented to Sonia O'Sullivan, who just happens to be the recipient of a former Sportsperson of the Year award. She won the accolade in 2000 after winning a silver medal at the Sydney Olympics earlier that year.