The winners of this year’s RTÉ Sport Awards were announced tonight on RTÉ One television and RTÉ Player during the live broadcast of the ceremony which looked back on a stellar year for Irish sport.
World Rugby Player of the Year Johnny Sexton was voted the RTÉ Sport Sportsperson of the Year after a 2018 in which he starred for Ireland as they won only their third ever Grand Slam, had a series win over Australia, and ended the year with a first win against New Zealand on home soil.
At club level he played a pivotal role in Leinster claiming an unprecedented European Champions Cup and Guinness Pro14 double.
On collecting the award, Sexton praised the role of his wife, his coaches and his teammates for making his job easier.
"I'd like to thank all the teammates and coaches. The Irish coaches are top class, world class and they make your job that bit easier.
"I feel a bit bad accepting individual awards as a No. 10. You're meant to be the guy that sits in the background and help control the team. I don't think you should be getting individual awards because it's the other guys that make you look good."
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 women's hockey team after their World Cup silver-medal winning exploits.
Their head coach Graham Shaw was named RTÉ Sport Manager of the Year.
Rhys McClenaghan, who this year became the first ever Irish gymnast to claim a European gymnastics medal by winning gold on the pommel horse in Glasgow, was named RTÉ Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year.
Thirty years after he famously put the ball in the English net at Euro ‘88, Ray Houghton received the RTÉ Sport Hall of Fame Award for his many achievements in a Republic of Ireland shirt.
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.