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21st Nov 2018

Martin O’Neill releases statement following Irish departure

Alan Loughnane

The news of the parting of ways broke on Wednesday morning.

The FAI confirmed on Wednesday that Martin O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane are no longer in charge of the Republic of Ireland national team, by mutual agreement with the organisation.

O’Neill had been in charge of the team for five years, and led the side to an impressive showing at Euro 2016 before failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

On Wednesday evening, O’Neill released a statement following his departure.

You can read his statement in full below.

“I have had the great honour of managing the Republic of Ireland National football team for the past five years and it is with a heavy heart that I leave this role.

“It was one if my lifetime ambitions to take charge of the Irish senior squad and I would like to thank the FAI Board for giving me that opportunity.

“I will not forget the night in Lille when we beat Italy to secure the nation’s best ever achievement in the Euros competition, the terrific night we beat the World Champions Germany at home in Dublin, or James McClean’s goal in that euphoric win against Wales in Cardiff that put us through to the play-offs for this year’s World Cup.

“The Irish fans have been a source of motivation to myself, the team and the whole backroom staff, embodying the passionate Irish spirit and I thank them for the fervent support of the team

“I am also very proud of the relationships I have built with the players who have carried the very same spirit, imbued by the fans, onto the field of play.

“A special thanks to Roy Keane, my assistant, an inspirational figure in the world of football, Seamus McDonagh, Steve Guppy, and Steve Walford for their brilliant contributions and to those backroom staff at the FAI that were of enormous help to me.

“Knowing that the past year would be a transitional phase for the squad, I have capped twelve new players in the last nine games, with the aim that they become significant international contributors in the coming campaign.

“To the players, I reserve great premise and admiration for the phenomenal commitment they have shown whilst wearing the Irish shirt.

“Having had these great experiences in my spell as the Irish international manager, I am looking forward to my next adventure in football.”