Roy Keane silent over hotel ‘altercation’

ROY Keane drew a veil of silence over the incident which threatened to distract the Republic of Ireland ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifier in Scotland as he met the media on Sunday.

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane. Picture: PA

Martin O’Neill’s assistant declined to discuss the furore which engulfed the camp on Wednesday last week after Gardai were called to the team hotel in Portmarnock following an alleged altercation with another man.

Speaking to the media at the same venue for the first time since the incident, Keane’s response when asked if he was prepared to discuss what happened, was: “No, I’m not.”

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Wearing the same frown he adopted when confronted on the sideline at Celtic Park by match referee Milorad Mazic during Friday night’s feisty 1-0 Group D defeat in Glasgow, he was similarly taciturn when asked if the publicity had proved a distraction.

He said: “No.”

Although Gardai attended - the Football Association of Ireland later insisted at Keane’s request - no arrest was made nor complaint received.

The 43-year-old, who was the centre of attention in the build-up to last month’s qualifiers against Gibraltar and Germany because of the release of his updated autobiography, remains big news in Ireland, where his partnership with O’Neill captured the imagination when it was announced a little more than a year ago.

However, he insisted the pair’s position in the limelight does not dictate where they can and cannot go.

He said: “No. We go into Malahide and have a coffee, it’s fine. We were out last night for a meal, it was fine,” before adding with a flicker of a smile: “We’re not One Direction.”