The Euro 2012 draw handed Ireland a tough draw against the defending champions Spain, 2006 World Cup winners Italy and Croatia.
Ireland, appearing in the championships for the first time since 1988, will open against Croatia in Poznan on June 10. Yet it is the games against Spain, winners in 2008 and World Cup victors in South Africa last year, and 1968 champions Italy which will most excite their fans.
Giovanni Trapattoni's men will travel to Gdansk to face Spain on June 14 and return to Poznan to play Italy four days later.
Group A will be viewed as the easiest of the tournament as hosts Poland find themselves up against Russia, the Czech Republic and Euro 2004 champions Greece.
Surely the toughest group will be B, which sees old rivals Germany and World Cup finalists Netherlands meet. While Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Denmark make up the other two teams.
England, meanwhile, face France and Sweden while also being drawn in the final Group D with co-hosts Ukraine. Fabio Capello's side will begin their campaign against rivals France, whom they have not beaten in five meetings, in Donetsk on June 11. England have chosen to base their training camp in the Polish city of Krakow but all their group games will now be played in Ukraine.