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Dunne declares desire to represent the Republic of Ireland

Dunne declares desire to represent the Republic of Ireland

Blackrock footballer Jimmy Dunne has said he has no intention of switching allegiance to Northern Ireland.

The 21-year-old U21 international and Burnley defender, who joined League One side Sunderland on loan this month, won a call-up to an extended Republic of Ireland squad after impressing during a 14-game stint with Hearts before an ankle injury struck towards the end of November.

However it was reported that the former Rock Celtic player was considering an approach from Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland after catching the eye during his short time in Scotland.

Speaking on LMFM’s Sunday Sport show, Dunne quashed those rumours and says he is hopeful of representing the Boys in Green in the not too distant future.

“I haven’t played for either [Northern Ireland or the Republic at senior level] but I am a Dundalk lad and my dream has always been to play for the Republic of Ireland and that’s always something I’ve thought of and I’ve never ever considered it to be any other way,” he said.

“But as you grow older if you’re not playing international football I can see why players would make the decision to play with someone to get the international experience.

“I’m hoping in the next few years or maybe even sooner to play for the Republic of Ireland.”

Dunne was involved in the Irish senior squad for the games against Northern Ireland and Denmark in November and has won two caps with the U21s.

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