Roy Keane was involved in a row with journalists after being asked if he was becoming a distraction from the Republic of Ireland cause.

Keane, Martin O'Neill's assistant, spoke to the media at the team hotel in Portmarnock on Sunday morning and initially maintained his composure about an incident involving Ireland fan Frank Gillespie at the same venue in the run-up to Friday night's Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland.

However, when the daily print journalists got their chance, the mood changed.

Having been asked about the publicity surrounding Celtic's approach for him at the start of the season, his recently updated biography and the hotel incident, Keane replied: "You think I've got to justify all that to you? And you all sit there and think I've got to answer everything.

"Who the hell do you think you are? I've got to answer to you?" 

"Who the hell do you think you are? I've got to answer to you? I answer to the FAI and Martin, and if we don't get the results, I'll be gone and you won't lose a minute's sleep, so don't worry about distractions.

"You are the ones who write about distractions."

O'Neill had admitted in his pre-match press conference at Celtic Park that the incident at the team hotel, when the FAI called the Gardaí at Keane's request, had been a minor distraction.

No arrest nor complaint was made, but when it was put to Keane that it had been a distraction because people were talking about it, he replied: "Talking about what? Talking about something you don't have a clue about. And everyone writing lies, the usual nonsense, 'this happened' and 'that happened'."

Those exchanges came after Keane had taken Everton boss Roberto Martinez to task over his handling of injuries to key Ireland players Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy, who both missed last month's qualifiers with McCarthy also sitting out this time around after reporting with a hamstring problem.

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Transcript of exchange between Roy Keane and journalists

Reporter: "I expect to get the stare but I'm going to ask it anyway. Martin was asked before the match about the incident, and he said it was a distraction, but he'd moved on. In the last six months - I'd like your thoughts on this - between the Celtic link, Villa link, the book being published and the incident last week."

Keane interrupts: "'I'm not giving you any comment. Why would you think I have to give you an opinion on everything? Do you think you've a right to sit there and ask me anything you want and get an answer? I think I've been more than fair with you."

Reporter: "You have. But my point is Martin has been asked about distractions. Has he had enough of those distractions?"

Keane: "What are you asking me for? What are you talking about? What distractions? Can I do anything about the Celtic stuff?"

Reporter: "Yeah, Celtic and Villa."

Keane: "Can I do anything about them things that come up? If I get approached about a job and I'm up front with the manager and the media, do you want me to... how is that a distraction? What can I do about that? You're making out I'm bringing all these distractions on."

Reporter: "So they just happen, they're just coincidences?"

Keane: "Well, if a club approaches me, these things just happen, yeah. How is the think the book's a distraction to a group of professional people? Do me a favour.

"And then people all writing about the incident the other night, lies... and people have got pals and talking to them. You think I've got to justify that to everyone? You all sit there and think I've got to answer to everything?

"Who in the hell do you think you are? I've got to answer to you? I answer to the FAI and Martin. And if we don't get the right results, I'll be gone and you won't lose a minute's sleep,so don't worry about distractions. The things you write about are distractions."

Reporter: "It was an obvious thing to write about. There was an incident, so we had to write about it."

Keane: "Exactly. But you're on about Celtic and Aston Villa. What do you want me to do about them? If Celtic approached me, what did you want me to say? You couldn't get enough of it. So what can I do about the Celtic situation?"

Reporter: "I don't know. It was extraordinary that Martin brought it into our attention."

Keane: "And what other incidents? The book? Do you think the book was a distraction? An agreement was made six months before it was out."

[Press officer attempts to intervene] "Leave it there, thanks."

Keane: "Ask Martin. What's he said?"

Reporter: "I think he's had enough of these (distractions)."

Keane: "Go and ask him. Go and see him in the lobby. You're not brave enough to ask him?"

Reporter: "I am brave enough to ask him."

Keane: "Go and ask him. You're asking me what Martin O'Neill might be thinking? Why don't you ask Martin?"

[Press officer] "All right."

Keane: "What if we qualified? Do you think it will be a distraction? Are you thinking it's all a distraction from the result the other night?"

Reporter: "It was the build-up to the game for 24 hours. Everyone was talking about it."

Keane: "What was the problem?"

Reporter: "We were all talking about it."

Keane: "Talking about what? Talking about something you don't have a clue about, and everyone writing lies. The usual nonsense. 'This happened, that happened..."'

Second reporter: "You said you wouldn't talk about Frank [Gillespie] and what happened the other night. Have you anything to say about it?"

Keane: "Frank? You know him?"

Second reporter: "Yes."

Keane: "Of course you do. You know him well. You know Mick McCarthy well, don't you? You know Frank well, don't you?"

Second reporter: "Do you want to say anything about the other night?"

Keane doesn't respond. He gets up and leaves the room. As he does, the two reporters thank him.

Keane: "For what?"

First reporter: "For your time."