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Saturday 24 February 2018

Celtic star's father released from custody

Shane Hickey

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.

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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