Aug. 4, 2017, 9:22 a.m.
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August 4 2017 10:09 AM

Emma Byrne has hung up her boots after 21 years of service with the Republic of Ireland.

The 38-year-old Leixlip native made her debut for Ireland as a 17-year-old back in 1996 and has been an integral part of the squad ever since.
She joined Arsenal in 2000, having playing previously with St Patrick's Athletic and Danish side Fortuna Hjorring, and was part of a hugely successful period in the Gunners' history.
Her time there yielded a UEFA Women's Champions League winners medal in 2007, two FA Women's Super League crowns, nine FA Women's Premier League National Division titles, nine FA Women's Cups, three FA Women's Super League Cups and five FA Women's Premier League Cups.
Byrne, capped 127 times for Ireland (a record), was also an integral figure as the Irish players reached an agreement regarding working conditions with the Football Association of Ireland earlier this year.
Announcing her decision on Twitter today, she wrote: "It has been an honour to represent and captain our amazing country. 23 years wearing the Irish jersey has brought so many happy memories and many invaluable friendships that I will treasure for the rest of my life," she said.
"I feel extremely proud to have carried our flag around the world.
"To the supporters of ladies football. You have been wonderful.
"Thank you to the PFAI, SIPTU, the FAI and the Irish media for making my last battle a successful one.
"Last and not least, thank you to all my teammates throughout the years, my family and my friends for sharing a very happy journey with me. Adh mór oraibh xx."
She left Arsenal at the end of the 2016 campaign and joined WSL 2 side Brighton & Hove Albion in January.