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Rachel 'devastated' by son's €30k drugs bust

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TV chef Rachel Allen with her son Joshua

TV chef Rachel Allen with her son Joshua

TV chef Rachel Allen with her son Joshua

The son of TV chef Rachel Allen faces a garda investigation after he was arrested following the seizure of nearly €30,000 worth of cannabis.

The seizure followed a garda and Revenue operation triggered when a customs officer at Portlaoise Mail Centre became concerned about a parcel destined for Cork.

A raid was ordered amid suspicions about a parcel labelled "clothing" that had come from the US.

In a statement, Rachel Allen said she was "absolutely devastated" at the detention of her son Joshua (18).

She said the family was issuing a statement purely because of the "frenzy of inquiries" in relation to Joshua from the media.

"He has been arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs (marijuana) with intent to supply them to others," she said in the statement.

"He has admitted his guilt immediately and co-operated fully with the gardai.

"A file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions and when formally charged Joshua will be pleading guilty at the first opportunity.

"We are absolutely devastated at this turn of events.

"Our son is 18-years-old, has never been in trouble with the gardai and has made a huge mistake, which will have profound consequences for him.

"We do not in any way condone his actions, in fact we utterly condemn them, but it is not for us to condemn him.

"We must now try to look after our son and our family the best way we can.

"We would ask that the legal process would be allowed to proceed to deal with this matter, without interference, and that we would be allowed to deal with this, like any other parents in a similar position."

On Thursday evening a property in the Shanagarry area was searched by gardai on foot of a warrant.

The teenager was detained under Section Two of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996. A file on the matter is now being prepared for the DPP.

A statement from Revenue said: "Revenue officers seized approximately 1.5kg of suspected herbal cannabis with an estimated street value of €30,000.

Concealed

"The illegal drugs were detected in the Portlaoise Mail Centre concealed in a parcel labelled as 'clothing', which originated in the US and was destined for an address in Cork.

"The seizure was made as a result of a joint operation conducted by Revenue's Customs Service, gardai from the Divisional Drugs Unit in Angle- sea Street and the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau."

Dublin-born Rachel is one of Ireland's best-known celebrity chefs and has fronted numerous TV shows, as well as writing a number of successful cookbooks. Earlier this year, she appeared on TV3 food critic show The Restaurant.

She is also a businesswoman and last year opened her own branded restaurant in Washington Street in Cork city.

She is married to Isaac Allen, whose parents Tim and Darina Allen are known through Ballymaloe Cookery School.

In 2003, Tim pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. He was ordered to do 240 hours of community service and pay €40k to charity.


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