Friday 30 September 2016

Watch: Paul O'Connell crowned 2015 Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year:

Published 16/12/2015 | 22:39

Former Ireland and Munster captain Paul O'Connell has been named the Irish Independent Sport Star of the Year for 2015.

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O'Connell, who was unable to attend the event as he was presented to the media in Toulon today, said he was honoured to accept the award at the Irish Independent Sport Awards, in association with Croke Park Hotel.

Pictured at the 27th annual Irish Independent Sportstar Awards is Young Sportstar of the Year Leona McGuire with MC Des Cahill. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Wednesday 16 December 2015. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Croke Park. 27th Irish Independent Sports Awards. L to R: Shane O'Donoghue (Iirsh Hockey team) and Emma Duggan.
Wednesday 16 December 2015. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Croke Park. 27th Irish Independent Sports Awards. L to R: Joe Ward, (Olympic boxer) Julieanne Stokes, Julie and Eddie Bolger
Wednesday 16 December 2015. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Croke Park. 27th Irish Independent Sports Awards. L to R: Muireann King, Patricia Crabb and Úna Nea.
Wednesday 16 December 2015. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Croke Park. 27th Irish Independent Sports Awards. L to R: Brian Fenton and Sarah Kelliher.
Wednesday 16 December 2015. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Croke Park. 27th Irish Independent Sports Awards. L to R: Tameres Othoa and Walter O'Connor World Champion Handballer.
Wednesday 16 December 2015. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Croke Park. 27th Irish Independent Sports Awards. L to R: Michael Carruth and Paul Quinn IABA.
Wednesday 16 December 2015. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Croke Park. 27th Irish Independent Sports Awards. L to R: Ruby and Gillian Walsh .
Wednesday 16 December 2015. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Croke Park. 27th Irish Independent Sports Awards. L to R: Aidan and Eve McGlinchey.

Thousands of readers submitted their votes over the past few weeks and giant Limerick man emerged as the victor.

O'Connell led Ireland to a second successive Six Nations title in March, scoring a try in the 40-10 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield that helped us snatch the championship from England on a dramatic final day of the tournament.

O'Connell was named RBS Six Nations player of the championship for his performances over the five games.

In the latter half of last season, it was announced that O'Connell had been allowed to leave Munster with one year on his contract to join French giants Toulon.

His Munster career ended with defeat to Glasgow in the Guinness Pro12 Grand Final.

He captained Ireland at the Rugby World Cup but suffered a serious hamstring injury in the comprehensive victory over France. It would be his last international appearance as he missed the quarter-final defeat to Argentina in Cardiff.

"I'm very honoured and very thankful to all the readers of the Irish Independent for voting for me. It's a big honour for me considering the other nominees, the likes of Michael Conlan and Willie Mullins," he said.

Up-and-coming golfing star Leona Maguire was named Young Sport Star of the Year, former Dublin footballer and Manchester United legend Kevin Moran was inducted into the Hall of Fame and Special Olympics Ireland claimed a Special Merit Award.

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