Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has said an apparent WhatsApp audio message leaked on social media in relation to the bust-up between Roy Keane, Harry Arter and Jon Walters "doesn’t tally".

Speaking to the media ahead of Tuesday’s friendly with Poland, O'Neill was quizzed about the audio, which he attributed to Stephen Ward. 

The audio apparently details the encounter between the Ireland assistant and the two players.

He said: "First of all I don’t think Stephen was there. Stephen wasn’t actually there so I think he is just picking up on things, something we (O’Neill and the media) talked about at the beginning of the week. There probably isn’t anything more to really report.

"There was a confrontation with Jon and a confrontation with Harry. Jon is absolutely fine. Harry is perhaps not so fine. But I said to you before, you have to ask if that is the complete reason why Harry is not here and not participating in these games at this time.

"I think you probably know that anyway because I think Harry has let some of the reasons he’s not here known to a few people.

"It doesn’t tally," he concluded on the details about the audio, and later added that Keane does not have a poor relationship with the players.

Ward has returned to his club Burnley to rehab a foot injury aggravated in the defeat to Wales.

The Ireland manager then took the step of revealing he had a dispute with David Meyler last week in a clear bid to normalise the situation. 

Meyler looks set to captain Ireland in the game and was sitting next to O’Neill as he discussed it.

The former Celtic boss said: "These things are important to say. First of all, the incidents (with Arter and Walters) took place at the end of May when we were in camp.

"They have surfaced now some four months later. It wouldn’t be the first conversation or tete-a-tete and it wouldn’t be the first, if I can call it altercation, between players and staff.

"I have had one with the man sitting beside me last Friday. I have got the utmost regard for him as a person, as I said to him I might have a difference of opinion about his ability, but that’s not the point.

"As I said I have the utmost regard for him as a person. For him to take the criticism I gave in front of the rest of the team was extremely strong. He’s a strong person, a really strong person.

"Sometimes, as I said to you before, while the game has changed a little, hopefully it hasn’t changed that much that there is some things you can say to a player, and maybe used a little bit industrial heavy duty language at the end of it all."

O'Neill also said that Declan Rice’s decision to wait before committing himself to the Republic of Ireland had nothing to do with the unrest in the camp.

O’Neill went on to say that neither he, nor his staff, had ever gone against medical advice in asking a player to play or train while injured.