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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 18:18 GMT 19:18 UK
Man freed in Staunton gun probe
Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton
Staunton was appointed as the Republic's manager in January
A man who allegedly threatened Republic of Ireland football manager Steve Staunton with an imitation gun has been released by Irish police.

The incident happened at a hotel near Dublin on Monday night.

It is believed the man who was arrested apologised to Staunton through Garda and a file on the incident is being prepared for the DPP.

Despite searches of the area, the gun - reported to be a plastic imitation Uzi sub-machine gun - has not been found.

The arrested man is believed to have a history of psychiatric problems.

Earlier on Tuesday, Staunton played down the incident.

The man allegedly threatened to kill him. Staunton, 37, fled and alerted staff at the Portmarnock Hotel at about 2000 BST on Monday.

Portmarnock locator map

A 31-year-old man was later arrested on a beach beside the County Dublin hotel, where the team had been preparing for a friendly match against Holland.

Staunton told a news conference: "It's over with and there's no harm done."

"I would like to thank our security team who were excellent in the job they did, along with hotel staff and the gardai who responded very quickly."

Staunton was talking on his phone in the car park of the Portmarnock Hotel when he was approached by a man.

The man began shouting at him and produced the weapon.

Staunton ran back into the hotel and the man was pursued by FAI security staff.

It is the second time an armed incident has occurred at the Portmarnock Hotel while the Irish team were in residence.

Irish police guarding team members at the hotel after the incident
Irish police guarded team members at the hotel after the incident
Almost three years ago an armed raider fired a shotgun into the ceiling of the hotel as players enjoyed an evening meal.

Two armed and masked men had entered the lobby of the hotel on November 17, 2003, and stole about 690. No-one was injured in the incident.

The Republic of Ireland's friendly match against Holland at Lansdowne Road on Wednesday will be former Liverpool and Irish Republic defender Staunton's third match in charge of the national team.

Staunton unharmed after gun scare
15 Aug 06 |  Northern Ireland
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13 Jan 06 |  Internationals
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10 Jan 06 |  Internationals

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