Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy asked to be withdrawn from consideration for selection for Euro 2012 after his father was diagnosed with cancer, manager Giovanni Trapattoni has said.
McCarthy, who was born in Scotland but switched his allegiance to Ireland, was not in the 23-player squad named by Trapattoni in Dublin today.
Sunderland winger James McClean was included, the 23-year-old former Derry City midfielder making the cut despite having won just one senior cap as a substitute after a remarkable six months for his club.
GOALKEEPERS: Given, Westwood, Forde;
DEFENDERS: Dunne, O'Shea, St. Ledger, O'Dea, Ward, Kelly, Foley;
MIDFIELD: Whelan, Gibson, Andrews, Fahey, Duff, McGeady, Hunt, McClean,
STRIKERS: Keane, Doyle, Cox, Long, Walters.
STANDBY: Randolph, McShane, Green, Coleman, Keogh
In a statement released on McCarthy's behalf by the FAI the Wigan player said he had "made the difficult decision to withdraw from selection following the diagnosis of my father with cancer and an on-going requirement for treatment".
McCarthy thanked Trapattoni for his understanding on the matter and said he re-affirmed his "complete commitment to playing for the Republic of Ireland".
"Despite not being present I would like to wish the manager and my teammates every success at the tournament and I hope that Irish fans can understand the reason for my decision at this difficult time."
McClean meanwhile said he was "absolutely honoured" to be asked to represent his country.
McClean has made a significant impact in the Barclays Premier League this season since being thrown in at the deep end by manager Martin O’Neill in December.
Trapattoni handed him a first senior international cap as a substitute in February’s 1-1 friendly draw with the Czech Republic to a rapturous reception at the Aviva Stadium.
Simon Cox, one of five strike options named by Trapattoni, was also honoured by his inclusion.
As was Shay Given.
"I had a very difficult task in choosing this 23-man squad," Trapattoni said.
"Several players have proven their abilities to us during the qualifying campaign, and we are thankful to all who have played a part.
"However, we are happy with our choices. The standby list consists of very capable players who we would be happy to call upon if needed."
The Republic of Ireland manager said the upcoming friendly against Bosnia on May 26 "will be the beginning of our Euro 2012 journey".
"It is important for the players to feel the energy from Irish fans before we go to our training camp," he added.
“We will look to emulate the attitude and performance that brought us qualification, and push our limits further as we prepare for this tournament.
"We will be focused as we enter this important time.”