And since his return to club duty the Leinster man has continued from where he left off, notching seven tries and a drop goal in his 13 appearances for the province.
Club and international teammate Jonathan Sexton was also nominated for the award along with Leinster stalwart Isa Nacewa but it was Kearney who emerged on top.
Ian Madigan, who made his debut for the Irish Wolfhounds this year, took home the Powerade Young Player of the Year for his impressive performances for Leinster on both the domestic and European front racking up seven tries in the RaboDirect PRO12.
Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll, who missed the whole of this year's RBS 6 Nations with a shoulder injury, also picked up the try of the year award for his effort in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals against the Blues.
And finally a special presentation was made to the recently retired Shane Horgan who was part of the Triple Crown winning Ireland side back in the 2006 RBS 6 Nations.