Mick McCarthy last night insisted he was ''completely happy'' with his decision to quit as the Republic of Ireland boss.

McCarthy resigned yesterday after coming under increasing pressure following the infamous bust-up with Roy Keane prior to the World Cup and two straight defeats at the start of Ireland's Euro 2004 qualifying campaign.

And the former Millwall manager said he would look back on his years as Republic boss with ''immense pride and pleasure''.

He said: ''It was the right decision and I'm completely happy with it. It was my decision.

''It was for the good of the team as much as everything.

''I think not so much my presence as some of the stuff going on around my presence was affecting team performance.

''I don't feel any sense of betrayal at all - it's my decision.

''I feel immense pride and pleasure at being allowed to do the job and being given the opportunity to do it. The FAI were strong enough to back me. I'm very proud of being allowed to do the job and I've enjoyed every minute of it. I'll walk away with my head held high and I think I'm entitled to do that.''

McCarthy revealed he made his mind up to walk away after seeing his men lose their second successive Euro 2004 qualifier, against Switzerland. He said: ''It wasn't a knee-jerk reaction but that was my feeling after the game. At the end of last week and the start of this week I decided.''

McCarthy refused be drawn into criticising Keane's impact on the Republic squad, focusing instead on the team's achievement in reaching the second round of the World Cup. He added: ''After the World Cup we came back, we had such a good World Cup and we had 100,000 fans to welcome us back. There's no point in me getting angry with anybody.

''I've spoken to a few of the players today and they are disappointed. As a manager of either a club or a country you inevitably carry a weight of expectation and that's no different with me.

''It was made greater by things over the summer but we got on with it and achieved a lot over the summer.''

Meanwhile, FAI president Milo Corcoran last night paid tribute to McCarthy. Corcoran insisted McCarthy's six-and-a-half year reign should be remembered for the ''excellent results'' he achieved rather than the row with Keane.

He said: ''Mick McCarthy's tenure as manager of the Irish team should be judged on the excellent results achieved during his period as manager. He has taken the Irish team to 14th in the world and his results over a period of almost seven years speak volumes for his abilities as a manager".

* David O'Leary has ruled himself out of the running for the role of Republic of Ireland manager after Mick McCarthy's resignation.

The former Ireland defender has been out of work since being sacked by Leeds this summer and was immediately installed as one of the favourites to manage his country after McCarthy decided to step down as Republic boss.

But O'Leary insists he has no intention of moving into international management at this stage in his career.

He said: ''I would love to manage my country one day but if the FAI were to approach me now I would have to decline.

''I loved the day-to-day involvement of club management and I would really like to be involved in that again first.''