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Vincent Browne announces his 2012 Political Awards

James Reilly, Mary Lou McDonald and Mick Wallace were among the award winners.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

MINISTER FOR HEALTH, James Reilly and Independent TD, Mick Wallace are among the winners of the Tonight with Vincent Browne Political Awards for 2012.

The broadcaster has announced the five winners, picked by an independent judging panel, on his regular weeknight TV3 show.

And the 2012 winners are…

Politician of the Year went to James Reilly, Minister for Health. The adjudicators said the top gong went to the Fine Gael TD “for all the wrong reasons! That he has actually survived Stubbs, primary care centre selection criteria and not to mention not doing his “ekker” on the cuts, is a minor miracle”.

Politician of the Year: Minister for Health, James Reilly. (Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

Mary Lou McDonald took on and put manners on “the boys club and the clucking hens of the FG backbenchers” which saw her take home the Opposition Politician of the Year award.

Opposition Politician of the Year: Mary Lou McDonald. (Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

Minister of the Year went to Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan. He was commended for managing “to keep the show on the road” and being a “Government strongman who commands respect, but doesn’t like Feta cheese”.

Minister of the Year: Michael Noonan TD (Barry Cronin/Photocall Ireland)

Róisín Shortall, Independent TD was given the honour of Speech of the Year. The judging panel said, “The former junior minister stood by the Republic and resigned – in an act rare to Irish politics, actually restoring some respect to the profession.”

Speech of the Year: Róisín Shortall (Wanderley Massafelli/Photocall Ireland)

Gaffe of the Year was handed to Independent TD, Mick Wallace. The long-haired, pink t-shirt loving Wexford man won the title because of his “VAT fun and frolics”, said the judges.

Gaffe of the Year: Mick Wallace (Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)

The adjudicators of the awards were: journalist Alison O’Connor; John Drennan, Political Correspondent with the Sunday Independent; Theresa Reidy, Department of Government at University College Cork and Senan Moloney, Political Editor Irish Daily Mail.

The Tonight programme team had no involvement in selection process.

Our favourite pictures of the Politicians of the Year

Read: Vincent Browne announces his Political Awards 2011 >

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Amy Croffey

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