Snow Patrol's "Eyes Open" (Fiction/Polydor) and the Divine Comedy's "Victory For The Comic Muse" (Parlophone) are the highest-profile records on the shortlist for Ireland's Choice Prize, which was unveiled last night (Jan. 10) on Irish radio station Today FM.

The award -- which effectively recognizes Ireland's rock album of the year -- is decided by a panel of 12 industry experts.

Snow Patrol -- who are based in Glasgow but whose singer Gary Lightbody hails from Northern Ireland -- will be favorites to take the prize for their million-selling album.

Also in with a shout of winning the €10,000 ($12,900) prize at the ceremony in Dublin's Vicar St. venue on Feb. 28 are singer/songwriter Fionn Regan, for his acclaimed debut "The End Of History" (Bella Union), Dublin rockers Director's "We Thrive On Big Cities" (Atlantic) and the Immediate's "In Towers And Clouds" (Fantastic Plastic).

However, there was no mention for million-selling singer/songwriter Damien Rice, whose sophomore set "9 Songs" didn't make the shortlist of 10.

The winner of last year's inaugural Choice Prize award was Julie Feeney, who at the time of her victory for "13 Songs" had no record deal, no manager and no publishing deal.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print