herald

Friday 19 January 2018

CCTV film destroyed in Players Lounge fire

CCTV footage of an armed robbbery at the controversial Players Lounge bar was destroyed in a blaze set by the raiders.

Gardai have discovered that the raiders who torched the premises 10 days ago set a fire directly underneath a main CCTV camera inside the pub at Fairview in Dublin.

The premises, run by John Stokes, father of Celtic and Ireland soccer star Anthony (23), was gutted in the blaze.

Some footage is understood to have been stolen while the remainder melted in the attack.

The Herald has now uncovered further details on the incident, at one of the city's busiest sports bars.

The total amount of money taken is now understood to be around €80,000. This is almost double the initial estimate of the robbers' haul.

A detailed examination has also revealed that there were three, not two, "seats" of the fire, as first believed.

One of the blazes was set under CCTV equipment, the Herald understands, and another at the front window.



HOODIES

While internal CCTV has revealed nothing, footage from other premises in the vicinity shows two men emerging from under the pub shutters after the attack.

This confirms information given to the gardai by publican John Stokes' wife, Joan, and others that two men with "hoodies" were seen in the vicinity earlier.

The men with hoodies are clearly visible on CCTV but are not recognisable.

They are believed to have somehow concealed their haul because they were not visibly carrying anything as they left the scene.

Gardai has interviewed the bar manager -- the only person on the premises when the raid took place. Other staff are reported to have left over half an hour earlier.

The Herald understands that the doors of the bar were locked but three or four men managed to get in and forced the manager to show them the safe before he was tied up. He managed to escape through a side door.

The pub was destroyed in the August bank holiday weekend attack but it is believed the owner has an interest in another licensed premises on the city's northside.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Clontarf Garda Station on 01 6664800 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111.

cmallon@herald.ie

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