Thursday 23 November 2017

Soccer star's parents released after drugs and ammunition find

Grainne Cunningham

THE father of soccer star Anthony Stokes opened his pub for business yesterday after his release from custody following a garda raid.

However, John Stokes (54) refused to talk about his 30-hour spell in custody, or the discovery of ammunition and drugs found in his bar -- the Players Lounge in Fairview, Dublin -- during the raid. Emerging from the premises, Mr Stokes got straight into the passenger seat of a waiting 4x4, which then drove off.

He and his wife Joan, parents of Celtic and Ireland player Anthony Stokes, were taken from the pub in handcuffs on Friday morning and released without charge on Saturday.

Anthony's uncle Paul Byrne (46) was also arrested and released without charge.

A handful of bullets, three stun guns and cocaine worth about €500 were also seized as part of an investigation into a turf war between the Real IRA and drugs gangs.

Mr Stokes indicated he would issue a statement in the coming days "that will open a lot of people's eyes about what happened here".

He has previously told RTE radio he is proud to be a republican but that his bar is not a republican one.

Last month, Mr Stokes was ordered to remove a 40ft anti-queen banner from his pub ahead of the British monarch's State visit next month.

Irish Independent

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