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'This is the right time' - Ireland hero Wes Hoolahan announces retirement from international football

26 June 2016; Wes Hoolahan of Republic of Ireland following the UEFA Euro 2016 Round of 16 match between France and Republic of Ireland at Stade des Lumieres in Lyon, France. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
26 June 2016; Wes Hoolahan of Republic of Ireland following the UEFA Euro 2016 Round of 16 match between France and Republic of Ireland at Stade des Lumieres in Lyon, France. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Wes Hoolahan celebrates his memorable Euro 2016 goal against Sweden at the Stade de France
Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan
Aidan Fitzmaurice

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Wes Hoolahan has become the second Irish player to retire from international football in 2018 as he says it’s time for him to stand aside at the age of 35.

"It wasn’t an easy decision to make, to retire, but I feel it’s one I had to make and this is the right time to do it," Hoolahan told The Herald.

The former Belvedere player won 43 caps but his appearance in the 5-1 loss to Denmark will be his last as he informed Martin O’Neill last week that he’s quitting.

"It’s a mixture of things that led me to make this decision but mainly age, I will be 36 soon, I’ll be 38 when the next Euros come around, so it’s time to move aside," the Dubliner added.

Wes Hoolahan celebrates his memorable Euro 2016 goal against Sweden at the Stade de France
Wes Hoolahan celebrates his memorable Euro 2016 goal against Sweden at the Stade de France

"I had a great two campaigns with Ireland and the Euros in France was an amazing experience,

"I spoke to Martin O’Neill last week and he accepted my decision. He didn’t try and talk me around, he knew my mind was made up and it was time to go."

But he is upbeat about the future for the national team.

"I’m not worried about the future, there is plenty of Irish talent out there, it looks like Martin will call up a lot of younger players in the next few months, give them a chance and see what they can do but I’d be confident about the future."

Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan
Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan

Read the full interview with Wes Hoolahan in today's Herald.

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