On Saturday afternoon Off The Ball exclusively revealed that Mick McCarthy has left his position as the Republic of Ireland manager with immediate effect.
Since the revelation, the Football Association of Ireland has released its own statement, confirming McCarthy's departure from the Ireland job for the second time in his managerial career.
In the statement, the FAI explained the reasoning behind the decision, saying, "This move allows Stephen Kenny time to plan for the European Championship play-off semi-final against Slovakia later in the year."
McCarthy's contract had been due to expire on July 31st of this year, with the former Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny set to take over from August 1st.
However, following the global spread of COVID-19 and the postponement of this summer's European Championships, the FAI were left with a decision to make ahead of the upcoming play-off game against Slovakia, set for September at the earliest.
McCarthy replaced Martin O'Neill as the Ireland manager in November 2018, having left his managerial post at Ispwich Town earlier that year.
The 61-year-old accepted the job with an agreement in place that Stephen Kenny would replace McCarthy after Euro 2020, with Kenny taking up the role as the national Under-21 manager in the interim.
However, the current worldwide pandemic and the tournament decisions implemented as a result has brought Kenny's start date as the senior boss forward by four months.
This news means that McCarthy's final game of his second spell in charge of the Republic of Ireland team was the 1-1 draw against Denmark at the Aviva Stadium last November, the result of which meant Ireland would face a play-off to qualify for the European Championships.
That play-off against Slovakia is now set for early autumn and will act as Kenny's first game in charge of the senior side.
It has been a tough call on McCarthy, as Off The Ball's Ger Gilroy has written, and Twitter has been awash with plenty of reaction since the huge news broke.
The Republic of Ireland have a new manager and here is how the nation has reacted:
A new era for @FAIreland
Thanks to Mick McCarthy who has been a safe pair of hands in a difficult period.
Now an exciting time ahead with so many young players on the verge of breaking through. Qualification in our sights with Stephen Kenny 🇮🇪 #COYBIG #Euro2020
— Jonathan Walters (@JonWalters19) April 4, 2020
👏 Congratulations and good luck to former City manager Stephen Kenny on taking over the national team! 🔴⚪ pic.twitter.com/GeHpTjGOFZ
— Derry City FC (@derrycityfc) April 4, 2020
ACTUAL SPORTS NEWS. Mick McCarthy stepping down as Ireland manager according to OTB.
— Kieran Cunningham (@KCsixtyseven) April 4, 2020
As per @offtheball story, Mick McCarthy's time as Ireland manager is over. More details to come on @IndoSport - sub committee of FAI board made the call. McCarthy's contract expires July 31. Strong view in official circles that playoff game may not be until Nov or next March.
— Daniel McDonnell (@McDonnellDan) April 4, 2020
There are a lot of people whose jobs have been severely disrupted by Covid-19. Plenty who won't get a chance to finish something they've started. Mick McCarthy is just another casualty of that. He'll walk away with a handy few bob and Ireland can begin looking to the future.
— David Sneyd (@DavidSneyd) April 4, 2020
— Dave H (@davidharvey16) April 4, 2020
Could be a Michael Jordan-length doc on Mick McCarthy's history as Ireland manager. That this isn't even the most contentious thing to happen to him in the role says it all!https://t.co/HAEtz8JAAa
— Ronan Mullen (@RonanReigns) April 4, 2020
Wonder how much the Mick McCarthy departure as manager of the Irish football team is going to cost the FAI?
— Matt Cooper (@cooper_m) April 4, 2020
FAI taking decisive action on managerial conundrum. Mick gone and Stephen Kenny in.
— Mark Tighe (@marktigheST) April 4, 2020
Fairly extraordinary football news in the middle of an unprecedented lack of football. Would have preferred Stephen Kenny having time to bed in players but it is what it is. Few of the present starting 11 are guaranteed their place going forward. Gonna be fascinating.
— Johnny Ward (@Ui_Maine) April 4, 2020
Mick McCarthy's time as Republic of Ireland manager is to end @FAIreland
— James McMahon (@mcmahon31j) April 4, 2020
Mick McCarthy is to be succeeded as national team manager by Stephen Kenny with immediate effect. handover has been agreed with both men in light of the delay to the European Championship play-offs McCarthy’s contract was due to expire on July 31st after the UEFA EURO 2020
— john kenny (@JohnKennyMedia) April 4, 2020
— Ger Gilroy (@gergilroy) April 4, 2020
We brought you the Mick McCarthy - Stephen Kenny news first this afternoon, reaction from @nathanmurf and Brian Kerr here ⬇️
Personally, I feel sorry for Mick, a national hero, but maybe it’s time now with so much uncertainty for Stephen to get his plans in place for the future. https://t.co/aJtx5rTbo9
— John Duggan (@JohnDugganSport) April 4, 2020
Stephen Kenny’s habit of coughing nervously during interviews would want to clear up fairly lively given the climate
— Richie McCormack (@RichieMcCormack) April 4, 2020
Mick McCarthy is one of the great characters of Irish football. A true leader on and off the pitch and he leaves behind many good memories.
Best of luck, Mick.
And so a new era begins. Exciting times ahead with Stephen Kenny and the exciting talent coming through
— YBIG (@YouBoysInGreen) April 4, 2020