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Celtic warn Stokes for attending IRA event

Celtic striker Anthony Stokes has been warned about his future conduct by the club after attending a memorial event for a murdered leader of the Real IRA in Dublin.

• Blog: Celtic back on Planet SPL

When asked if the club had spoken to Stokes, 24, from Dublin, about his actions, manager Neil Lennon confirmed he had and admitted he felt the player had damaged the club's reputation.

Lennon said: "Yes we have [spoken to Stokes]. We spoke to him internally. 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. And he has taken it on board, absolutely.

Stokes was photographed at an event commemorating Alan "The Model" Ryan, Dublin commander of the Real Ira who was shot outside his home in the Irish capital in September. On the day of Ryan's funeral Stoke's said on his personal Twitter account "Thinking of you Alan...".

He also became embroiled in a war of words with Irish journalist Tom English who works in Scotland and threatened to sue him after English claimed Stokes had "disgraced Celtic". Ryan is understood to have been connected to Stokes through a bar owned by his father.

Stokes has not played since August because of an ankle injury and Lennon is keen for the former Sunderland striker to get back to fitness.

"It is maybe make or break time for him in terms of football. He has been out for the best part of six months so he wants to get back playing.

"And we want him back playing because over the last two seasons he has been a very important player for us in terms of goals."