Belfast Telegraph

Celtic star's father's bar raided

An armed gang has held up the sports bar belonging to the father of Celtic star Anthony Stokes.

Up to four men tied up a member of staff at the Players Lounge in Fairview, north Dublin, at about 2am and made off with a sum of money.

A fire broke out in the premises at around the same time and gardai are looking at the possibility that the robbery and blaze are linked. Nobody was hurt in either incident.

Players Lounge owner John Stokes was charged in May over allegations that he threatened a business rival.

The 54-year-old appeared before a special sitting of Dublin District Court where he was accused of ordering another publican, with menace, to cease trading within 24 hours.

It is not known whether he was in the bar when the robbery took place.

Earlier this year, Stokes was ordered to remove a massive 40ft banner barring the Queen from his pub during May's historic state visit.

He said he reluctantly agreed to take it down after a senior garda threatened to object to his application for late licences.

Also on Tuesday, gardai confirmed that two fires started in the premises, causing extensive damage to the lounge area, before being brought under control by four units of Dublin Fire Brigade.

Investigators said one of the raiders was armed during the robbery and took the bar manager to the office where the safe is kept.

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