Celtic striker Stokes punished for attending IRA function

The 24-year-old has been dealt with internally at Celtic Park after he attended a benefit function for the murdered Republican leader Alan Ryan in September
Celtic boss Neil Lennon has confirmed that the club has punished striker Anthony Stokes for attending a function for the murdered IRA leader Alan Ryan in September.

The 24-year-old has been out of action since August and has found a return to the starting line-up a difficulty after regaining full fitness.

The striker’s controversial attendance at a function in Dublin for Ryan has been met with a damning response by his coach, who said that his decision to attend damaged the club, which has strong religious and political links.

“We spoke to him internally,” Lennon told reporters.

“I am not going to moralise to him, but you cannot damage the reputation of the club. He is aware of that now. It has been dealt with internally.”

Stokes enjoyed a successful start to his career at Celtic Park and scored 40 goals in his first two seasons following his £1.2 million move from Hibernian in 2010 but has only made two appearances so far this season.

He has been warned about his future conduct by the chiefs at the Scottish Champions.