Richard Dunne has admitted his heartache at the Republic of Ireland's early Euro 2012 exit.

Dunne and his team-mates arrived in Poland believing they had a genuine chance of at least reaching the quarter-finals, but successive defeats by Croatia and Spain have rendered their final Group C fixture against Italy largely irrelevant, for them at least.

The 32-year-old Aston Villa defender offered a frank assessment of Ireland's performances to date, which have seen them lose 3-1 to the Croatians and 4-0 to the Spaniards. He said: "It's heartbreaking. It's your dream to go and play in the championships and play well and be brilliant, and it's just not happened for us, so it's heartbreaking."

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