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Wednesday, 6 November, 2002, 06:19 GMT
McCarthy quits Republic
Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane
McCarthy's row with Keane ultimately cost him his job

Mick McCarthy has resigned as Republic of Ireland manager.

The Football Association of Ireland confirmed the news late on Tuesday, insisting he had quit "in the best interests of the Irish team".


It is not the Republic of Mick McCarthy or Roy Keane
Mick McCarthy

McCarthy himself admitted continued speculation over his own position was affecting the team's performances.

He first came under pressure following the rift with Roy Keane that saw the skipper sent home from the World Cup.

The Republic did progress to the second round of the tournament before falling to Spain on penalties.

But the two defeats by Russia and Switzerland at the start of Ireland's Euro 2004 campaign forced McCarthy to consider his own position.

Former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy
McCarthy leaves "with his head held high"

"It was a difficult decision but it was the right decision," he said. "I am completely happy with it.

"I was not asked or pushed to go - it was my decision and my decision only."

"I feel immensely proud and privileged at being allowed to do the job and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

"Maybe we were punished for over-achieving at the World Cup but my record will stand on its own two feet."

FAI president Milo Corcoran hoped McCarthy's six-year reign would be remembered for the "excellent results" he achieved rather than the row with Keane.

  Mick McCarthy's career
1959: Born in Barnsley
1977-1991: Central defender for Barnsley, Man City, Celtic, and Republic of Ireland
1991: Takes over as Millwall player manager
1996: Replaces Jack Charlton as Republic of Ireland boss
2002: Agrees deal with FAI to step down after six years in charge

"He has taken the Irish team to 14th in the world and his results speak volumes for his abilities as a manager," Corocoran said.

But Cathal Dervlin, the ghost-writer for McCarthy's autobiography, said the Keane situation had ultimately led to the former Millwall manager's departure.

Dervlin told BBC Radio Five Live: "The most damaging statement came when Roy Keane said he would play for Ireland as long as Mick McCarthy wasn't manager.

"What that did was establish a foundation and give people the bricks to throw when results went against Mick.

"The country has been split down the middle since the Roy Keane affair."

Possible replacements

John Alridge, the early favourite, Joe Kinnear and John Toshack head the list of contenders to replace McCarthy.

But David O'Leary has told BBC Radio Five Live he is not contemplating international management at this stage in his career.

"I would love to manage my country one day but if the FAI were to approach me now I would have to decline," O'Leary said.

"I loved the day-to-day involvement of club management and I would really like to be involved in that again first."

Despite his denials, O'Leary remains the bookmakers' second favourite to replace McCarthy.

McCarthy's assistant Ian Evans also resigned on Tuesday, and under-21 boss Don Givens is now expected to take temporary charge for the friendly in Greece on 20 November.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Simon Brotherton
"McCarthy's departure became inevitable"
Former Ireland defender David O'Leary
"I want to get back into club management"
Roy Keane's biographer Eamon Dunphy
"I think it was inevitable"
 VOTE RESULTS
Was Mick McCarthy right to quit?

Yes
 52.23% 

No
 47.77% 

13282 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
Mick McCarthy resigns as coach of the Republic of Ireland

Ireland in limbo

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