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Irish Boxing on the Podium

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By Bernard O'Neill

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The Irish Senior Men's Boxing teams were back on top of the podium tonight after claiming the RTE/Irish Sports Council Team of the Year award.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

 

The senior team beat off competition from All Ireland football and hurling champions Cork and Tipperary and Airtricity Premier League champions Shamrock Rovers to scoop the Team Award following their record breaking haul of five medals at the 2010 European Senior Championships at the Ice Palace in Moscow.

Paddy Barnes (gold), Darren O'Neill (silver), Ken Egan (bronze), Eric Donovan (bronze) and Tyrone McCullagh (bronze) helped Ireland finish in second spot in the medals tables behind Russia.

The gold medal win by Barnes, who was also shortlisted for the RTE/Irish Sports Council Sportsperson of the Year award, bridged a 19-year gap since Dubliner Paul Griffin claimed gold for Ireland at European level.

 Current World, European and European Union champion and AIBA World female boxer of the year Katie Taylor was also shortlisted for the RTE Sportsperson of the Year award.

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Taylor claimed her third AIBA World title in a row this year - just a few weeks after she won her third European Union title on the trot in Hungary - in Barbados.

 Following that win World amateur boxing chiefs AIBA presented the Bray lightweight with the World female boxer of the year award, the second time Taylor has received this prestigious honour.

However, golfer Graeme McDowell was presented with the RTE/Irish Sportsperson of the Year award tonight.

 Speaking at tonight's ceremony, head coach Billy Walsh dedicated the Team of the Year award to all the clubs and coaches that have helped nurture the talents of Ireland's boxers.

 The Sportsperson of the Year shortlist consisted of Katie Taylor, Graeme McDowell, Grainne Murphy, Tony McCoy, Lar Corbett, Paddy Barnes, Tommy Bowe, Derval O'Rourke, and Rory McIlroy.

 The Team of the Year shortlist included the Irish men's senior boxing team, All Ireland football and National League winners, Cork; the Republic of Ireland U-17 women's soccer team, who finished third in the FIFA World Cup; All-Ireland Ladies' football champions Dublin; Airtricity Premier League Division winners, Shamrock Rovers; All Ireland hurling champions, Tipperary; the Irish men's U-23 cross country team, who won gold at the recent European Championships and All Ireland camogie champions, Wexford.

Snooker legend Dennis Taylor was honoured with the RTÉ/Irish Sports Council Hall of Fame Award.