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Irish Boxers make final shortlist for RTÉ Sports Person of the Year

Two Irish boxers have made it to the 13-nominee final shotlist for the RTÉ Sports Person of the Year.

Dublin lightweight Kelly Harrington and Bray lightweight Katie Taylor are both up for the prestigious award following a senstional year.

The pair were part of a 23-strong long-list announced last month alongside Portlaoise super bantam TJ Doheny. Unfortunately, Doheny, who won the IBF title in Tokyo back in August, has not made the final cut.

Inner-city Dub Harrington claimed gold at the World Championships in New Delhi last month and bronze at the European Championships earlier in the year.

Wicklow’s Taylor added the IBF title to her WBA crown won last year with a unification win over Victoria Noelia Bustos and posted a further two successful defences versus Kimberley Connor and Cindy Serrano.

The other 11 final nominees are:
Jason Smyth (Para-Athletics)
Johnny Sexton (Rugby)
Davy Russell (Horse Racing)
Sanita Puspure (Rowing)
Rhys McClenaghan (Gymnastics)
Ayeisha McFerran (Hockey)
Ellen Keane (Para-swimming)
Cian Lynch (Hurling)
Brian Fenton (Football)
Thomas Barr (Cycling)
Sinead Aherne (Football)

Sexton, who won Rugby World Player of the Year last month, is the favourite for the award following a year when he led Leinster to the European Champions Cup and Ireland to the 6 Nations and a win over New Zealand

The winner will be announced at the RTÉ Sport Awards on Saturday December 15th.

Unlike last year which was a public vote, a panel of 11 media members and sporting organisation members will pick the winner.

Taylor (2012), Michael Conlan (2015), Michael Carruth (1992), and Barry McGuigan (1985) are all previous Irish boxers who have won the award – while Conor McGregor, who later moved to boxing for a fight with Floyd Mayweather, won in 2016 for his exploits in mixed martial arts.

Carl Frampton (twice), Ryan Burnett, Paddy Barnes, Joe Ward, Jason Quigley, and Andy Lee have all also previously been nominated


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: