A 27-year-old man has admitted his role in the attempted robbery of the Bank of Ireland in Kilkenny four-and-a-half years ago during which a family were held hostage.

Stephen Freeman from Balcurris Gardens in Ballymun in Dublin changed his plea to guilty today on one of the three charges he faced.

He was charged with the attempted robbery of cash from the bank and the use of force against bank worker Adrian Ronan, his wife Mary and their three children on 11 November 2009.

Mr Ronan is a former Kilkenny hurler and manager of the minor team.

There was no objection to Freeman remaining on bail while victim impact statements and probation reports are prepared.

He will be sentenced on the one count in July.

The Central Criminal Court was told the State will not proceed on the other two charges once he has been sentenced.