James McClean crowned RTÉ Sport Sportsperson of the Year

Derry man James McClean pictured with his RT Sport Sportsperson of the Year award. (Photo: RT Sport)
Derry man James McClean pictured with his RT Sport Sportsperson of the Year award. (Photo: RT Sport)

Derry man and Republic of Ireland international, James McClean was crowned RTÉ Sport Sportsperson of the Year at an awards ceremony in Dublin on Saturday evening.

McClean, 28, saw off the challenge from revered Irish sports men women such as boxer Katie Taylor, Mayo footballer Andy Moran and rugby player Conor Murray.

Eglinton born sprinter, Jason Smyth, was also included in the shortlist.

"It means a lot because at the end of the day it was the Irish public voting for me," said McClean after he was presented with the award.

"It's an award that covers not just football but all sports.

"For them to vote for me, it's something special.

"It's something I am immensely proud of and I would just like to thank everyone who voted for me. Thank you very my much."

After a record-breaking 2017 in which he set a new world record by training 26 Group 1 winners in one calendar year Aidan O’Brien was named RTÉ Sport Manager of the Year.

This year a brand-new category, the RTÉ Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year Award, was inaugurated and the first winner was announced as Mona McSharry, the 17-year-old Sligo native swam her way into the history books as she claimed gold in the World Junior Swimming Championships in Indianapolis.

As well as acknowledging this year’s sporting achievements, the RTÉ Sport Awards recognised the 20th anniversary of his magnificent World Snooker Championship win as Ken Doherty was honoured with the Hall of Fame Award.

The highly-coveted RTÉ Sport Team of the Year Award is voted for by the viewing public and this year’s award went to the Irish Showjumping Team who won the gold medal at the European Championships in Gothenburg.

The RTÉ Sport Awards were presented by RTÉ’s Darragh Maloney and Joanne Cantwell, and also featured a host of well-known Irish sports stars and analysts reflecting on the Irish sporting year that was.