Monday 22 December 2014

Republic of Ireland legend Richard Dunne announces retirement from international football

Published 31/07/2014 | 20:40

Republic of Ireland v Kazakhstan - 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group C...15 October 2013; Richard Dunne, Republic of Ireland. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Kazakhstan, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE...COR
Republic of Ireland v Kazakhstan - 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group C...15 October 2013; Richard Dunne, Republic of Ireland. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Kazakhstan, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE...COR
Republic of Ireland Squad Training - Monday 9th September 2013
Republic of Ireland Squad Training - Monday 14th October...14 October 2013; Republic of Ireland's Richard Dunne, left, and Robbie Keane during squad training ahead of their 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, game against Kazakhstan
Republic of Ireland squad training...27 May 2008; Republic of Ireland's Richard Dunne, left and Stephen McPhail take a break during squad training. Republic of Ireland squad training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Euro 2012: Fernando Torres, Spain, in action against Republic of Ireland players Richard Dunne, Sean St. Ledger and Stephen Ward. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE...ABC
Republic of Ireland Squad Training - Monday 14th October...14 October 2013; Republic of Ireland's Richard Dunne during squad training ahead of their 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, game against Kazakhstan
Euro 2012: Dejected Republic of Ireland player Richard Dunne after Spain's Fernando Torres scored his side's third goal of the game after seventy minutes
Republic of Ireland v Kazakhstan - 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group C...15 October 2013; Richard Dunne, Republic of Ireland. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Kazakhstan, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE...COR
26 April 2000; Richard Dunne, Ireland. Soccer. Picture credit; David Maher/SPORTSFILE
6 September 2011; Republic of Ireland's Richard Dunne, wearing a replacement jersey with his number written on it, during the game. EURO 2012 Championship Qualifier, Russia v Republic of Ireland, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
19 May 1998 Republic of Ireland squad training at the AUL grounds at Clonshaugh Co.Dublin. Picture Features Ireland's Curtis Flemming. Richard Dunne (Top) and Barry Quinn (Right) . Picture Credit MattBrowne/SPORTSFILE.
31 August 1999; Republic of Ireland's Richard Dunne in action against Yugoslavia's Nikola Lazetic. European U-21 Championship Qualifier, Tolka Park. Soccer. Picture credit; Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE
Richard Dunne in his Ireland Under 20 days
23rd July, 1998. Rep of Ireland's team,left to right, back row, Liam George, Jason Gavin, Richard Dunne, Alex O'Reilly, Barry Quinn, front row, Thomas Heary, Gerry Crossley, Ronnie O;Brien, Alan Quinn, Keith Doyle, Robbie Keane. before the game against Cyprus at the Ayia Napa, Municipal Stadium, in the U. 18 European Championships. Picture Credit David Maher, SPORTSFILE.
Richard Dunne early in his international career. Photograph: David Maher SPORTSFILE.
Richard Dunne with his Ireland under age manager Brian Kerr
Ireland defender Richard Dunne pictured after signing for Championship side QPR.
4/9/2013; Ireland players, Richard Dunne, left, and David Forde
Republic of Ireland v Sweden - 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group C...6 September 2013; Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden, in action against Richard Dunne, Richard Dunne. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Sweden, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE...ABC
6 September 2011; Richard Dunne, Republic of Ireland, is attended to by team physio Ciaran Murray during the game. EURO 2012 Championship Qualifier, Russia v Republic of Ireland, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

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."

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