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These are the 10 nominees for the 2019 RTÉ Sportsperson Of The Year award

By James Fenton

December 9, 2019 at 11:10am

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While 2019 brought some memorable moments, it's fair to say that it's been a fairly mixed year for Irish sport.

Notably, Shane Lowry reached the top of the golfing game by winning The Open in July, Rhys McClenaghan claimed a bronze medal at the World Gymnastics Championships and Katie Taylor continued to scale the heights of women's boxing.

On the other hand, the Irish men's soccer team once again put in some miserable performances and the rugby lads flattered to deceive at the World Cup in Japan. It's no surprise then, that neither team are represented on the list of nominees for RTÉ sportsperson of the year 2019.

It was very much the year of individual successes with Lowry, McClenaghan and Taylor joined on the list by the likes of Sanita Puspure, who retained her women's single sculls gold medal at the Rowing World Championships, and sprinter Jason Smyth, who took home his eighth World Para-Athletics Championships gold medal.

Ciara Mageann is also there, for winning bronze at the European Indoor Championships and becoming only the second Irishwoman in history to make the world 1500m final. There are three GAA stars included namely influential Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton, Tipperary's All-Ireland- winning hurling captain Séamus Callanan and Niamh Kilkenny, whose magnificent performances helped Galway become All-Ireland camogie champions.

Finally, while our senior male soccer players stumbled their way to the Euro 2020 play-offs, Denise O'Sullivan is included for outshining some World Cup-winning teammates as she helped North Carolina Courage to a second consecutive National Women's Soccer League title.

Last year, Johnny Sexton took home the award at the end of a successful year for Irish rugby and it's Lowry who the bookies are backing to take home the prize this time around.

The 2019 RTÉ Sportsperson Of The Year will be announced at a ceremony this coming Saturday, which will be broadcast live on RTÉ One from 9.20pm.

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