The Republic of Ireland have been drawn in Group C with Germany, Sweden, Austria, Faroe Islands and Kazakhstan for the qualification stage of FIFA World Cup 2014.
Northern Ireland are paired with Portugal, Russia, Israel, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg in qualifying Group F.
England are in Group H with Montenegro, Ukraine, Poland, Moldova and San Marino.
Scotland and Wales are paired with Croatia, Serbia, Belgium and Macedonia in qualifying Group A.
FAI chief executive John Delaney was upbeat following the draw saying: "I think we're very pleased.
"Germany have got to be favourites (to win the group) but you wouldn't concede it. The last time we played them over two legs it was close.
"Germany are a great team to play in the Aviva Stadium financially, with the television and advertising rights - but our main aim is to qualify for the World Cup.
"I've spoken to Giovanni, he's pleased. He's managed in Germany and Austria so has a connection to both those countries."
He continued on Sky Sports News: "For us the main aim is to get out of the group, come here to Brazil and have the Irish supporters here with us.
"We've beaten the Faroes before, Kazakhstan is a long trip but that's the draw. Austria is very central and San Marino too.
"The sooner we can get the dates agreed the better."
Germany manager Oliver Bierhoff acknowledged the threat of the Republic of Ireland in Group C saying: "It'll be an interesting experience for our players.
"They are a team that play very intensively and can make life very hard for you - but I prefer to play in this kind of atmosphere rather than against smaller teams.
"Trapattoni (Republic manager, Giovanni) of course will know the German players - but Sweden and Ireland are both beatable."
European Zone qualifying draw for the 2014 World Cup:
Republic of Ireland
Matches to be played between September 7, 2012, and October 15, 2013.
Group winners qualify directly; eight best group runners-up take part in four two-leg playoffs with the winners advancing to World Cup finals.