The midfielder recalled to the Sunday World: "The Redknapps are a family friends of mine and when I saw Harry walking across the car park with Martin O'Neill, I had to take the chance to introduce myself.
“Harry's son Mark has been a good mate of mine for a long time and my brother-in-law Scott Parker is big pals with his other son Jamie, so I have known Redknapps for many years.
“It was a chance meeting with Harry and Martin, but it turned out to be very useful because it gave me a chance to tell the manager about my ambitions to get into the Ireland squad.
“The manager was fully aware that I qualified through my grandparents and then came to watch me at Bournemouth a few weeks later.
“When he announced the next Ireland squad, I got my first call-up. It all happened very quickly after that first chance meeting.
“It is funny how these things work sometimes. I'm not sure if that car park encounter helped, but hopefully he could see how desperate I was to play for Ireland."