Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane sign new contracts with Republic of Ireland
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 24/09/16 10:23am
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane have both signed new contracts.
The Football Association of Ireland announced back in June that O'Neill and his staff had agreed extensions but the paperwork remained unsigned, prompting speculation that an issue may have arisen.
However, O'Neill confirmed the contract was now signed at a press conference held to announce the Republic's squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Moldova.
"I have signed a new deal, it was never an issue," said O'Neill. "Roy and the backroom staff have followed suit. We're delighted."
The news will provide reassurance for Republic fans who feared the delay could end in either O'Neill or Keane opting to return to club management
Rep Ire vs Georgia
October 6, 2016, 7:30pm
O'Neill guided the Republic to successful qualification for Euro 2016, where they memorably defeated Italy before losing to hosts France in the round-of-16.
The Irish are now trying to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and made a promising start, drawing 2-2 in Serbia earlier this month.
"The point in Belgrade was very important," said O'Neill. "Anyone that finishes ahead of Serbia will go very close to winning this group."
The Republic will play host to Georgia on October 6 before taking on Moldova in Chisinau on the following Sunday.
And Barnsley midfielder Conor Hourihane has been included in the squad for the first time, having previously earned caps at U19 and U21 level.
Everton midfielder James McCarthy, who is currently working his way back to fitness after undergoing groin surgery, has also been named in the squad.
O'Neill said: "I've spoken to our doctor, who says James McCarthy is making good progress. We'll see how he progresses."
There are recalls for Birmingham midfielder Stephen Gleeson, Anthony Pilkington of Cardiff and Aberdeen's Jonathan Hayes.
In addition, Robbie Keane's retirement from international football has opened the door for Colorado Rapids forward Kevin Doyle to return.
Republic of Ireland squad:
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Danny Rogers (Falkirk)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie, Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce (Derby County) Paul McShane (Reading), John O'Shea (Sunderland), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Marc Wilson (Bournemouth), Stephen Ward (Burnley)
Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Preston North End), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Stephen Quinn (Reading), David Meyler (Hull City), Conor Hourihane (Barnsley), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Eunan O'Kane (Leeds United), Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City), Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen)
Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Newcastle United), Jonathan Walters (Stoke City), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids)