The boxing lightweight and sporting heavyweights are part of an eight-strong shortlist of nominees which features six women after a historic 2021.
Portland Row boxer Harrington won gold in the lightweight boxing final at Tokyo Games and lifted the nation in the process. She delivered an exhibition of intelligent fighting to claim her unanimous decision victory over reigning world champion Beatriz Ferreira of Brazil.
‘Pride of Bray’ Taylor remains the undisputed lightweight world champion after twice this year successfully defending her titles. Natasha Jonas was beaten on a hard-fought points decision in Manchester, before American Jennifer Han was defeated with ease in Leeds. Taylor fights Firuza Sharipova on Saturday night in Liverpool.
The two boxing stars have been nominated alongside Rachael Blackmore, Ellen Keane, Cian Lynch, Leona Maguire, Jason Smyth, and Vikki Wall.
The winner will be announced live on RTÉ One next Saturday, 18 December.
Boxing boasts the first-ever winner of the award with Barry McGuigan honoured in 1985, Michael Carruth was a winner in 1992, Katie Taylor claimed the gong in 2012 and 2020 either side of a Michael Conlan 2015 win.
Joanne Cantwell and Darragh Maloney will present the RTÉ Sport Awards 2021 on Saturday 18 December on RTÉ One.