Former Carlton defender Ciarán Byrne has turned his back on a potential AFL return, instead opting to remain in Ireland to continue his Gaelic football career.

Byrne, who played 22 games for Carlton across a five-year period with the club, was floated as a potential target for AFL sides ahead of 2023, with the 27-year-old having weighed up a return down under in recent months.

The Blues were named as an interested suitor for the flanker as part of a potential return to Princes Park, but Byrne has now decided to remain with Gaelic club St Mochta's and County side Louth in a move labelled as a "no brainer".

"It came down to what means more to me," Byrne told RTÉ Sport.

"And when I boiled it down to that the decision was made quite quickly. It was a no-brainer to stay with the GAA and stay involved in what's happening in Louth and St Mochta's. If I didn't stay here, I would have a bigger regret.

"You just feel like you always belong in Ireland but when an opportunity like the one that did (to return) came up I knew it was a huge decision that was looming.

"I had already experienced the AFL side of things for the bones of years and I guess now there will always be a 'what if' to my career. Should I have or could I have gone back and played 200 odd AFL games?

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"But this is how it has worked out for me. I am staying here and I want to drive on with my club and county, play Gaelic football for as long as I can and I want to create a name for myself.

"Down the line not taking the opportunity to go back to Australia is probably something I will regret but there would be more of a regret if I wasn't going to be in Ireland, with my club, or with my county."

Byrne joined Carlton as a Category B Rookie in 2013 and would make his debut against Essendon as a sub two years later.

He would feature in 11 games the following year before facing further difficulties come selection, eventually announcing his retirement at the end of 2018.

While Byrne is now confirmed not to be making a return to the AFL, his fellow countrymen in Conor McKenna is understood to be weighing up a switch back to the league.

McKenna has been in discussions with Geelong, while Brisbane have also been linked to the former Essendon defender.