Republic of Ireland legend Richard Dunne announces retirement from international football
Republic of Ireland stalwart Richard Dunne has announced his retirement from international football and described it as an "extremely difficult decision for me to make".
The 34 year old defender spoke to Martin O’Neill to inform him of his decision.
Martin O’Neill praised Richard for his outstanding contributions to Ireland during his international career, amassing 80 caps, and eight goals since his debut against Greece in 2000, to his most recent cap against Kazakhstan last October.
"Retiring from international football has been an extremely difficult decision for me to make," he said today. "I have represented Ireland since I was 15 years of age, and have thoroughly enjoyed all the highs and lows that have come with playing for my country. I will continue to support the team as they embark upon their new campaign under Martin O’Neill, and have every faith that they will qualify for France 2016.’
"I’d like to thank everyone I worked alongside during my time with Ireland, from managers to players to backroom staff. A special mention also goes to the fans. Their support has been immense, and I will always be grateful to them. I have so many great memories, that will stay with me forever.’
Martin O’Neill said, ‘Richard has been a remarkable player for both club and country. I had the pleasure of working with him at Aston Villa, where he had a big influence on the field. He has consistently given 100% every time he has been called on by his country also. I wish him all the best in his club career.’
FAI CEO John Delaney said he would never forget Dunne's remarkable performance in Moscow when he put in a man of the match winning performance. "Richard has been a tremendous servant to his country, and is truly a player for Ireland to be proud of. I will never forget his performance in Moscow, which was instrumental in winning us qualification for Euro 2012. Richard and his family, particularly his parents Dick and Phyllis, will always be welcome guests in Aviva Stadium.’ He added, ‘ On behalf of the Association, I would like to wish him and his family the very best for the future."