Ireland qualify after 3-1 on aggregate win. Getty

Two goals from Jonathan Walters has seen Republic of Ireland seal their place in Euro 2016 with a 3-1 aggregate victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, a controversial penalty gave the home side the chance to take some pressure off the evening when Ervin Zukanovic's was harshly judged to have handled the ball in the box with Walters calmly putting his side ahead after 24 minutes.

The home side were made to soak up plently of pressure but a resilient defensive performance from Martin O'Neill's side saw them keep their lead before the Stoke City forward doubled it with a well taken finish following an excellent cross from Robbie Brady.

Ireland qualify for their second consecutive European Championship for the first time in their history, joining England, Wales and Northern Ireland in France next summer.

After a bright start, Ireland were given their chance to take the lead after Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy lifted a cross into the box that stroked the arm of Zukanovic. The Bosnian defender looked incapable of getting out of the way of the cross in time but Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers pointed to the spot before Walters sent the Boys in Green on their way.

Excellent performances from Andy Keogh and Ciaran Clark at the heart of the Irish defence with James McCarthy providing an impregnable shield in front of them kept Bosnia out. On a rare venture forward, Walters was caught in the midrift with a high boot from defender Emir Spahic.

The Hamburg defender, having already booked and handed additional warnings in the first half, should have been shown a red card but Bosnia were handed an even worse punishment minutes later as Brady's wonderful delivery from the resulting free kick was met by Walters at the far post, who hammered past Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Shane Long, Ireland's hero against Germany in October, had a chance to make it three having come off the bench but spurned the opportunity. Knowing two late goals would hand them the tie on away goals, Bosnia battled until the end with Vedad Ibišević cracking the bar with a thunderous effort in in injury time. The Irish defence held firm however as the final whistle was blown, sparking wild celebrations around the Aviva Stadium.

"This is a special night which cannot be taken away from us," said O'Neill. "We will have a massive contingent of fans going to France and I would like to emulate the days of Jack Charlton and Mick McCarthy."

"I could not be more proud. The players have been superb right from the start when Aiden McGeady scored that late winner in the first qualifier in Georgia. We might be short on a few things, but courage and a determination to fight to the end have been in abundance."