World and European Elite champion Michael Conlan scooped the RTE Sports Person of the Year Award tonight.
The AIBA World No. 1 beat off competition from Irish rugby legend Paul O’Connell and some of Ireland’s top sports stars to take the honours.
“If I hadn’t a won this I probably would have been a bit disappointed, admitted the London 2012 bronze medallist.
“It means the world to me. Coming down here I had a bit of doubt in my my head, but I had to put that to the back of my mind.”
The Irish Boxing Team – despite winning ten World and European medals, five of which were gold – lost out in their bid for the RTE Team of the Year Award.
The Award went to Airtricity League and Cup champions Dundalk after a public vote.
Pat Ryan, President of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, said they were very proud of Conlan’s achievements.
“Michael won World and European gold this year and qualified for the Olympics. He’s also ranked number one in his weight class in the world. He’s had a phenomenal year, as have all our squads in international competition, and he fully deserves this,” said the IABA President who attended tonight’s RTE Awards, along with IABA CEO Fergal Carruth.
Darren O’Neill, Ceire Smith, Adam Nolan, Michael O’Reilly and Dean Walsh and Irish coach Eddie Bolger also attended last night’s awards.
Conlan is the fourth Irish boxer to win the RTE Sports Person of the Year Award after Katie Taylor, Michael Carruth and Barry McGuigan.