Martin O'Neill explains how Harry Arter returned to the Ireland 2 years ago

Martin O'Neill explains how Harry Arter returned to the Ireland

"Harry is happy to be back and wants to put it behind him."

Harry Arter has returned to the Republic of Ireland squad.

Arter asked to be omitted from the squad for last month's games against Wales and Poland following a dispute with Roy Keane back in May.

Martin O'Neill told reporters on Thursday in Dublin that the midfielder, currently on loan at Cardiff City from Bournemouth, has held talks with Keane.

According to the Ireland manager, the pair have cleared the air and Arter is "looking forward" to re-joining the squad.

However, there wasn't good news regarding Declan Rice. The West Ham youngster also asked to be excluded from Ireland's squads last month amid interest from England, the country of his birth.

Rice has since been in excellent form for his club, helping them to victories over Manchester United and Everton, and a hard-fought draw against Chelsea.

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Unfortunately for O'Neill and Ireland football fans, the 19-year-old is still deliberating over his international future.

The Ireland manager said that he has been in contact with Rice and his family and that he still hasn't made a decision. O'Neill said he is "hopeful" the youngster will eventually choose to stay with the Ireland setup.

O'Neill also lamented the absence of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman.

The Everton full-back picked up a foot injury on international duty last month and isn't ready to return to action.

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Richie Towell, the former Dundalk midfielder currently on loan at Rotherham from Brighton, has been included in the senior squad for the first time.

However, there wasn't good news regarding Robbie Brady.

The Burnley midfielder has suffered a couple of setbacks following his return from a serious knee injury and isn't ready to meet up with the Ireland squad as he continues his recovery.

Here's the full provisional squad:

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Colin Doyle (Hearts), Sean McDermott (Kristiansund BK)

Defenders: Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Kevin Long (Burnley), John Egan, Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers), Greg Cunningham (Cardiff City)

Midfielders: Alan Judge (Brentford), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Shaun Williams (Millwall), David Meyler (Reading), Harry Arter (Cardiff City*), Daryl Horgan (Hibernian), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City), Richie Towell (Rotherham United*)

Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Graham Burke, Callum Robinson, Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Aiden O'Brien (Millwall), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth).