Thursday 19 January 2017

Celtic star's father released from custody

Shane Hickey

Published 11/04/2011 | 05:00

THE father of Celtic star Anthony Stokes has been released from garda custody after he was arrested in an operation targeting dissident republicans and an organised crime gang.

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John Stokes was arrested with two other people following a series of searches around Dublin. All three were subsequently released without charge over the weekend.

The arrests attracted media attention in Scotland where Anthony Stokes is a high-profile player for Celtic. The footballer helped the side to a 1-0 victory against St Mirren on Saturday.

During the searches early on Friday morning, officers found a small quantity of 9mm bullets and cocaine with a street value of €500 in a shed at the back of the Players Lounge pub in Fairview, which is owned by Mr Stokes. The searches came amid city-wide raids, which included operations in Donaghmede, Artane, Cabra and an apartment block off Talbot Street. More than 100 officers were involved.

They were part of an ongoing investigation into a series of incidents centred around a campaign of intimidation involving suspected Dublin-based members of the dissident republican group, the Real IRA, and a group of criminals formerly aligned with murdered gangland boss Eamon Dunne.

John Stokes was last month ordered to remove a massive 40ft banner barring Queen Elizabeth from his pub in north Dublin during her state visit next month.

Last July, three innocent people -- two customers and a doorman -- were injured outside the Players Lounge when a gunman opened fire from the roadway.

Irish Independent

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