Tuesday 20 February 2018

Dublin pub owned by dad of Celtic striker gutted in blaze

John Stokes, outside his pub the Players Lounge in Fairview, Dublin. Photo: PA
John Stokes, outside his pub the Players Lounge in Fairview, Dublin. Photo: PA

Independent.ie reporters

Gardai are investigating a suspicious fire that gutted the Players Lounge in Fairview, Dublin overnight.

Four men, one of whom was armed, reportedly robbed the pub of €50,000 just after 2am today before setting fire to it.

It is owned by John Stokes, father of Celtic striker Anthony Stokes who scored two goals for Celtic in their 5-0 defeat of the Airtricity League XI in the Dublin Super Cup at the weekend.

A number of Dublin Fire Brigade units took over two hours to get the fire under control and nearby homes on Fairview Strand had to be evacuated.

John Stokes (54) is currently before the courts on a public order charge of making a demand with menaces to a businessman.

Three men, including a doorman and two customers, were gunned down outside the Players Lounge in July last year.

Earlier this year, John Stokes was ordered to remove a massive 40ft banner barring the Queen from his pub during next week’s historic state visit. He said he reluctantly agreed to take down the banner after a senior garda threatened to object to his application for late licences.

Anthony Stokes also caused controversy when he pulled out of the end-of-season internationals in May citing tiredness.

Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli said at the time: "It's possible sometimes to be tired because the season has been very hard but I think, for the national team, for me, it isn't possible to be tired. Maybe he's tired. Maybe he thinks about the club. But for me, in my opinion, I always thought about the national team.

"I don't know Stokes' situation. I believe him. Many years ago, it was very different, the situation, in football. But I am always disappointed about the players who can't come with the national team."

Tardelli previously questioned Stokes' work rate, while former Sunderland boss Roy Keane was critical of his social life.

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