Richard Dunne retires from Republic of Ireland duty

Richard Dunne
Dunne's international career with the Republic of Ireland spanned 14 years

Republic of Ireland defender Richard Dunne has retired from international duty after winning 80 caps.

Dunne, 34, made his debut for the national side against Greece in 2000 and won his final cap in a friendly against Kazakhstan in October.

"Retiring from international football has been an extremely difficult decision," said QPR centre-back Dunne.

Republic manager Martin O'Neill hailed Dunne as a "remarkable player for both club and country".

The former Manchester City, Everton and Aston Villa player represented Ireland at two major championships - the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2012 - and scored eight goals for his country in total.

"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," Dunne added.

"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."

Dunne's focus will now be on QPR as they prepare for life back in the Premier League, and O'Neill added: "I had the pleasure of working with him at Aston Villa, where he had a big influence on the field.

Richard Dunne and Andres Iniesta
Dunne was ever-present in the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 campaign and faced eventual champions Spain in the group stage

"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."

Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney added: "Richard has been a tremendous servant to his country, and is truly a player for Ireland to be proud of."