O'Neill announces provisional squad for 'Three' friendlies
It has been over 100 days since Ireland qualified for UEFA EURO 2016 following a memorable Play-Off victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina and this announcement marks the beginning of preparations for this summer's finals in France.
O'Neill has opted to select an enlarged squad to give as players the opportunity to stake a claim for a regular spot as they build up to two crucial friendly games along with a week working out at the FAI National Training Centre.
Included in the squad for the first time are defender Matt Doherty, midfielders Jonathan Hayes, and Chris Forrester - all of whom have represented Ireland at underage level.
The squad will be shortened ahead of assembling on March 20.
Speaking at today's press conference in FAINTC, Ireland manager O'Neill said: "The countdown to EURO 2016 starts now for us and we look forward to welcoming both Switzerland and Slovakia to Aviva Stadium for what will be two very important games for us.
"Both myself and my staff have been incredibly busy since qualification last November scouting and monitoring as many players as possible. I know that I will have a very tough decision to name a final squad for EURO 2016 and that is why I want to give players a chance to impress.
"For these two games, I would like to encourage Ireland supporters to come out in numbers to support the team as passionately as they did during our qualifying campaign. When we come together it creates a fantastic atmosphere at the Aviva Stadium and the players really feed off that."
Tickets for the 'Three' International Friendly games between Republic of Ireland and Switzerland (Friday, March 25) and Slovakia (Tuesday, March 29) at Aviva Stadium are available through Ticketmaster.ie
The squad in full is:
Darren Randolph (West Ham United)
David Forde (Millwall)
Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday)
Rob Elliot (Newcastle United)
Cyrus Christie (Derby County)
Seamus Coleman (Everton)
Richard Keogh (Derby County)
John O'Shea (Sunderland)
Alex Pearce (Bristol City*)
Shane Duffy (Blackburn Rovers)
Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa)
Paul McShane (Reading)
Stephen Ward (Burnley)
Greg Cunningham (Preston North End)
Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Robbie Brady (Norwich City)
James McCarthy (Everton)
Jeff Hendrick (Derby County)
Darron Gibson (Everton)
Harry Arter (Bournemouth)
Eunan O'Kane (Bournemouth)
Glenn Whelan (Stoke City)
Paul Green (Rotherham United)
Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City)
David Meyler (Hull City)
Stephen Quinn (Reading)
Aiden McGeady (Sheffield Wednesday*)
James McClean (West Bromwich Albion)
Alan Judge (Brentford)
Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen)
Chris Forrester (Peterborough United)
Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City)
Jonathan Walters (Stoke City)
Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City)
Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
Shane Long (Southampton)
Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town)
Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids)
Anthony Stokes (Hibernian*)
Simon Cox (Reading)
* Denotes players as currently on loan.