Katie Taylor and John Joe Nevin have been nominated for the RTE Sports Person of the Year Award.
Both Olympic hopefuls had exception years with three time World champion Taylor collecting her fifth successive European title and WSB fighter Nevin collecting bronze in the World Championships in Baku.
If either are to collect the prestigious award they will have to fight off tough non boxing competition.
The RTÉ Sports Person of the Year shortlist also features Darren Clarke, winner of the British Open; Michael Fennelly, GAA GPA All Star and Hurler of the Year; Sean O’Brien, Heineken Cup winner and ERC European player of the year; Rory McIlroy, world number two and US Open champion; Kevin O’Brien, Ireland’s record breaking cricket hero; Alan Brogan, GAA GPA Footballer of the year; and Robbie Keane, the Republic of Ireland’s captain and record goal scorer.
In recognition of the huge effort behind the scenes and on the sidelines this year RTÉ have introduced the RTÉ Sports Manager of the Year award and IABA head coach Billy Walsh in one of eight nominees.
The respect coach, who has over seen a marvellous year for Irish amateur boxing, is in good company and the other nominees include:
Kilkenny Hurling manager, Brian Cody who guided his team to a fifth championship title in six years; managing both senior and intermediate sides to an historic All Ireland double in Croke Park, Wexford Camogie Manager JJ Doyle; the first manager of a League of Ireland side to reach the group stages of a European competition, Michael O’Neill; following another impressive medals haul at European and World level, head coach with the IABI High Performance Unit, Billy Walsh; Heineken Cup winning Coach Joe Schmidt; leading the Republic of Ireland to a major tournament for the first time in 10 years, Giovanni Trapattoni; bridging a 16 year gap, and delivering the All Ireland Football title to the capital, Dublin Football Manager Pat Gilroy; and leading National Hunt trainer and Cheltenham Festival champion trainer, Willie Mullins.
The winners will be revealed and presented with their awards at The RTÉ Sports Awards in association with The Irish Sports Council which will be broadcast live on RTÉ One, Sunday 18 December at 9.30pm.
Presented by Darragh Maloney, Michael Lyster, Clare MacNamara and Des Cahill, the live show will review what was a wonderful year for Irish athletes and teams and look back on the dramatic and memorable sporting moments of 2011.
The winners will be selected by RTÉ sports journalists, editorial staff and broadcasters and will be announced live on the night.