Flashback: 1988 U-16 EUROs
1988 UEFA European Under-16 Championships
In the same year that the Ireland men's senior team qualified for their first major tournament - 1988 European Championships - this was a breakthrough achievement for Ireland at underage level.
In qualifying, Ireland were pitted against Northern Ireland in a two-team group. The first meeting ended in a scoreless draw in Belfast, while Ireland were 2-0 victors in the return fixture in Cork in March 1988.
Ireland had made it through to what was the sixth edition of the tournament, hosted in Spain. Drawn into Group D alongside Belgium, Portugal, and Switzerland, they played their games in Basauri, Santurtzi, and Getxo - all in the Basque region.
First up was a clash with Portugal, who had the powerful defender Jorge Costa leading them, and neither side could find a breakthrough as it ended in a 0-0 draw.
Two days later, Ireland secured a 2-2 draw with Switzerland before going on to beat Belgium in their final group game. Unbeaten after three games, they missed out on a place in the knock-out round as only the group winners progressed.
Portugal, who had beaten both Belgium and Switzerland, advanced to overcome East Germany and set up a final showdown with Spain, where they lost 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out.
Republic of Ireland Squad
Brian McKenna (Home Farm), John Connolly (Hillcrest), Richard Purdy (Home Farm), Ken Gilliard (Luton Town), David Collins (Liverpool), John Carroll (Home Farm), Paul McCarthy (Rockmount) Paul Byrne (Oxford United), Derek McGrath (Brighton & Hove Albion), Jason Byrne (Lourdes Celtic), Len Downey (Rockmount), Alan Wellback (Cherry Orchard), Roy Keane (Rockmount), Stephen Holt (Home Farm), Terence Murphy (Belvedere), Brian Monaghan (St. Kevins)
Republic of Ireland 0-0 Portugal
Republic of Ireland 2-2 Switzerland
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Belgium