JOE Men of the Year Awards 2015: Sports Star of the Year 6 years ago

JOE Men of the Year Awards 2015: Sports Star of the Year

All of our nominations can look back on 2015 with a great deal of satisfaction.

With categories for Footballer, Rugby Player and GAA Player of the year already in place, we thought we should also honour the men of Ireland who excelled in sports outside the traditional big three.

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All of our nominees had a 2015 to remember and you can cast your vote for the person you deem most worthy of the award at the bottom of the page.

Vote on all the JOE Men of the Year categories here.

Shane Lowry

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Paul Dunne’s amazing effort at the Open ran it close, but for many, the highlight of the year for Irish golf fans was Shane Lowry’s incredibly gutsy win at Firestone in August, his first ever win on the PGA Tour.

The Offaly man also put in a serious effort at the US Open, where he finished tied for ninth, and ahead of the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa this week, he is ranked 21st in the world and has his eyes on a Ryder Cup place next year.

A great 2015 for Lowry and 2016 promises to be even better.

Conor McGregor

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UFC 189 World Championship Tour, The Convention Centre Dublin 31/3/2015 Conor McGregor Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Judgement on The Notorious’ 2015 will have to be reserved until after his long-awaited bout with Jose Aldo in Vegas on December 12, but he’s still had a phenomenal year by anyone’s standards.

Victory over Dennis Siver in January was straightforward, victory over Chad Mendes in July less so, requiring McGregor to show a huge amount of heart and no little skill to claim the Interim Featherweight belt.

In the last year, the Dubliner has become one of the bona-fide superstars of the UFC, a status that he can well and truly cement with a victory over Aldo the weekend after next.

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AP McCoy

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McCoy has been retired since April, but it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge a career in which he won 4,300 races, was crowned Champion jockey 20 years in a row and regularly put his body through hell and came back for more every time.

A true giant of the horseracing world, we won’t see his like again.

Michael Conlan

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2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships, Doha, Qatar 14/10/2015 Bantamweight Final Michael Conlan vs Murodjon Akhmadaliev Ireland's Michael Conlan (Blue) is declared the winner Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Francis Myers

Already an Olympic bronze medallist, Conlan became the first Irishman to win a gold medal at the World Championships following his comprehensive victory over Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan in the final in Doha in October.

Has his eyes on a medal of the same colour in Rio next year and will more than likely turn pro afterwards. Still only 23, there’s a lot more to come from the Belfast man.

The Irish Special Olympics Team

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Special Olympics Team Ireland Departure to World Summer Games Los Angeles, Dublin Airport 21/7/2015 88 Irish athletes jetted to Los Angeles today (Tuesday) with dreams of a big performance at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. There was great excitement at Dublin Airport as the athletes and their coaches boarded their Aer Lingus flight with the team confident of success. The athletes were welcomed to the airport by Aer Lingus who are the official airline for Team Ireland. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

86 medals (26 gold, 29 silver and 31 bronze), including 16 on the final day of the competition, marked a fantastic performance at the Special Olympics for Team Ireland, who represented themselves with distinction in Los Angeles.