Top chef in court this week

 

Celebrity chef Mr Conrad Gallagher is due to face a court hearing in New York this week which could see him extradited back to Ireland within days.

Mr Gallagher (31), the youngest ever chef to be awarded a Michelin star, failed to appear in court in Dublin last October on charges of stealing and selling paintings from the Fitzwilliam Hotel.

He is being held by New York police without bail pending an extradition hearing to be heard in coming days.

Mr Gallagher was arrested outside his Manhattan bar, Traffic, last week on an extradition warrant issued by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The US Marshals Service has confirmed it arrested Mr Gallagher acting on recent information provided by Irish investigators.

He appeared before Brooklyn Federal Court on Friday to answer the extradition charge, which said Mr Gallagher had been charged with offenses punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Mr Gallagher's lawyer, Mr Doug Morris, declined to comment on the matter, but the former Peacock Alley chef has already indicated he will plead not guilty to the charges.

He was first arrested in Ireland in December 2000 and was questioned at Harcourt Terrace Garda station, Dublin, in connection with the theft of three paintings worth around €11,000. Mr Gallagher was charged at Dublin District Court and sent for trial at Dublin Criminal Court. After he failed to appear before the court, a warrant for his arrest was issued.