'No organised crime link' to €30k drug bust behind arrest of chef Rachel's son

Celebrity chef Rachel Allen with her 18-year-old son Joshua

Robin Schiller and Ken Foy

Detectives investigating a €30,000 drug seizure that led to celebrity chef Rachel Allen's son being arrested do not believe there are direct organised crime links to the bust.

Joshua Allen (18) was arrested and questioned last week following a controlled delivery of cannabis to him in the Shanagarry area of East Cork.

An investigation is under way, and gardai are liaising with US postal and police services.

The package, which was intercepted at the Portlaoise Mail Centre, originated from the US and was labelled "clothing".

Detectives from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) are assisting Revenue and East Cork gardai with their inquiries.

A source told the Herald there was nothing to suggest that the €30,000 shipment had any direct links to organised crime.

Comic Brendan Grace, with whom Rachel is scheduled to host a tea party today at the Kennedy Summer School

"It would have been purchased for a third less than the street value of €30,000, and in the early stages of the investigation there are no obvious organised crime links to the drugs," the source said.

On Monday, Rachel Allen released a statement in which she said Joshua would be pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity.

She is scheduled to host a tea party with Brendan Grace today at the Kennedy Summer School in New Ross, Co Wexford.

A spokeswoman for the event said yesterday that Ms Allen was still expected to attend.

Joshua was quizzed under drug-trafficking legislation, but later released without charge.

A file will be sent to the DPP at a later date and charges will be considered.

Gardai have not ruled out further arrests as part of the investigation.

In a statement, Ms Allen said her son had never been in trouble with gardai before.

"We are absolutely devastated at this turn of events," she said.

"Our son is 18-year- 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 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."

Officials at the Portlaoise Mail Centre had become suspicious about the parcel, which bore a US postmark and was stamped "clothing".

However, a cursory inspection of the package determined it did not contain clothing.

A surveillance operation was then mounted by gardai in East Cork, which resulted in the teenager's arrest.