Shane Lowry dedicates Sportsperson of the Year award to Clara GAA stalwart who died aged 42

Lowry, who was presented with the award by his father Brendan, dedicated the honour to Clara GAA stalwart John Buckley, whose His funeral takes place tomorrow.

Shane Lowry dedicates Sportsperson of the Year award to Clara GAA stalwart who died aged 42

Shane Lowry has been named the RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year for 2019, the ninth time the award has gone to a golfer.

Lowry, who was presented with the award by his father Brendan, dedicated the honour to Clara GAA stalwart John Buckley, who died aged 42.

Buckley was a goalkeeper who captained Clara to Offaly and Leinster Junior football titles in 1999 and won Offaly SFC titles in 2003 and 2009. His funeral takes place tomorrow.

“I’m just a normal country lad from Clara, and speaking of Clara, I just want to say we’re about to bury a very good GAA man,” said Lowry.

“I was down at the funeral and I’d just like to dedicate this to him and his family, John Buckley.

“Family, my hometown, my county, and my country mean a lot to me.”

Lowry is recognised after a year in which he became a major-winner on Irish soil, winning The Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

He joins a list of Sportsperson of the Year awardees which includes three-time-winner Pádraig Harrington, two-time-winner Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Christy O’Connor Jnr, and the trio of Eamonn Darcy, Ronan Rafferty, and Des Smyth, who shared the award.

Dublin’s history-making five-in-a-row winners were recognised with two RTÉ Sport Awards, picking up Team of the Year while Jim Gavin won Manager of the Year.

Gymnast Rhys McClenaghan won the Young Sportsperson of the Year award for the second year in a row. He followed last year’s European gold with a World Championship bronze in 2019.

Sonia O’Sullivan was inducted into the RTÉ Sport Hall of Fame recognising a career of achievements that included 16 major international medals. She joins the likes of pioneering athlete Maeve Kyle in receiving the award.

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