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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019

Emotional Eamon Dunphy: 'We've had a lot of dark days but this is a terrific moment'

We’ve got something in our eye.

The players celebrate at the end.
The players celebrate at the end.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

THERE WERE TEARS of joy in the RTÉ studio as the nation celebrated Ireland’s qualification for next summer’s European Championships.

Scenes of unconfined jubilation followed the final whistle as Jon Walters’ brace secured the Boys in Green a ticket for France.

At times during this campaign, the dream had faded but Walters embodies the sheer tenacity and perseverance of this side and the sense of achievement and occasion was palpable.

On the pitch, players and staff embraced while above in the studio, Eamon Dunphy, John Giles and Liam Brady were unable to hide their sheer delight and raw emotion in the immediate aftermath of the full-time whistle.

“We’ve had a lot of dark days, a lot of disappointing days but this is a terrific moment,” an emotional Dunphy said.

“We won’t stop analysing Martin O’Neill’s tactics, and he’s a little too fond of the long ball for my tastes, but he’s always got fantastic spirit and application from the players.

“You live on memories and folklore in sport. You need your dreams.

Tweet by @FAI Source: FAI/Twitter

“It’s a great night for Irish football. The players have shown such determination. Jonathan Walters, what a great lad. Darren Randolph has really come through.”

Giles pointed to the never-say-die attitude of the side during a campaign of highs and lows.

“We never doubted their spirit, even if we sometimes criticised the play,” he said. “To get to the Euros, after a few months ago there was little or no chance, is unbelievable.”

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Ryan Bailey

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