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We LOVE perv Tim; STAFF BACK CHILD PORN CHEF ALLEN.

Byline: ANN MOONEY

SOME of child porn pervert Tim Allen's staff have publicly backed the TV chef, pictured right, in a letter to a newspaper.

Eleven of the Ballymaloe cookery school's 200 employees wrote describing the man who admitted downloading lewd child pornography from the internet as "good, kind, generous, loving, considerate and patient".

They said they wanted to put on record the qualities of the man they had worked with for many years, and added: "We have and are going through a range of emotions - disbelief, anger, hurt and sorrow."

The 11 wrote in the Irish Times that in light of the publicity following Allen's conviction at Midleton District Court last Thursday, it would be "wrong for us to stay silent any longer".

They wrote: "We in no way excuse or condone Tim Allen's behaviour. We abhor child pornography or indeed any pornography and that is why we gave gardai our full support and co-operation during Operation Amethyst.

"During the months that followed we each have had to try to come to terms with the consequences.

"We expected media coverage because of Darina Allen's high profile but the scale and tone of some of it has been cruel and unjust.

"Tim was the one who was charged, he pleaded guilty and will have to live with the shame for the rest of his life. He has admitted this in court and since.

"The term 'trial by media' is not new but until now we have to say we did not understand the full meaning or implications.

"We believe the Allen family should be allowed to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and we should be allowed to get on with our jobs.

"We have seen the pain and agony the Allen family had to endure since last May and we offer them our continued support and love.

"We also thank our customers and friends for their encouragement which we deeply appreciate."

The letter explained that Ballymaloe was built up through the hard work and dedication of the family and staff over 40 years.

They said it was "highly beneficial to the economy of East Cork" and staff included several generations of the same family.

The letter - signed by senior staff members Joe Cronin, Rita Cronin, Maura Daly, Olive O'Connell Motherway, Jane Brown, Adrienne Forbes, Rosalie Dunne, Haulie Walsh, Eileen O'Donovan, Anne O'Connell and Suzanne Sloane - added that the Allens have been good employers and friends to them in times of need.

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WORKPLACE: Kitchen at Ballymaloe Cookery School
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 23, 2003
Words:422
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