US Open champion and Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell has been named 2010 RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year.
In what has been an amazing year for the Portrush golfer, McDowell claimed his first PGA Tour victory, becoming the first ever Irishman to win the US Open, before going on to play a pivotal role in the European Ryder Cup winning team with an incredible putt on the 16th hole of the deciding singles match.
In addition to claiming victory at the Wales Open at Celtic Manor earlier in the year, he finished the season by beating Tiger Woods in a playoff to win the 2010 Chevron World Challenge and also took home the Andalucía Valderrama Masters.
The RTÉ Sport Team of the Year award was presented to the Irish Men’s Senior Boxing team, winners of an unprecedented five medals at the European Boxing Championships.
The collective achievements of Paddy Barnes (gold), Darren O’Neill (silver), Ken Egan, Tyrone McCullagh and Eric Donovan (bronze) marks them out as one of the most successful Irish teams of all time.
The RTÉ Sports Awards 2010 also paid tribute to one of Ireland’s sporting legends.
The ceremony saw snooker star Dennis Taylor honoured with the RTÉ/Irish Sports Council Hall of Fame Award, marking 25 years since his 1985 World Snooker Championship win in which he beat the world No. 1 Steve Davis on the black ball in a final often described as one of the sports greatest.
Ryle Nugent, Group Head of Sport, RTÉ said: ‘RTÉ is thrilled to recognise and pay tribute to the fantastic achievements in Irish sport this year.
‘These awards are testament to the sporting accomplishments of Irish athletes, teams and organisations throughout the country and any one of the nominees would have made worthy winners. We look forward to broadcasting further Irish successes in 2011.’