Ian Bailey says he’s praying for ‘truth to come out’ about murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier
The 64-year-old Englishman has written to the Garda commissioner for a third time, with what he says is new evidence, requesting a review of the case
Ian Bailey says he’s praying for the “truth to come out” about the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier as he declared: “I’m the West Cork One.”
The 64-year-old Englishman has written to the Garda commissioner for a third time, with what he says is new evidence, requesting a review of the case.
Mr Bailey was the main suspect in the 1996 murder of the French film- maker but has always denied any involvement.
The mother-of-one suffered severe head injuries that left her unrecognisable after she was beaten more than 50 times with a rock before a concrete block was dropped on her.
Mr Bailey was tried and convicted in a Paris court for the murder of the 39-year-old but the Irish courts later ruled he could not be extradited.
In the wake of two new documentaries on the murder he said this week that he hopes a cold case review here clears his name.
He told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “It’s been one hell of a rollercoaster week for me. The locals have been brilliant.
“I’m getting, apart from one or two, 110% support. It’s brilliant because it lifts me and keeps me going.
“But I can’t remember a time when I was more tired. The scrutiny is so intense.”
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He added: “I’m just hoping that there will be a comprehensive cold case review and, yeah, keeping my fingers crossed.
“If it does happen it will have the full co-operation of myself, the full co-operation of my now estranged partner Jules, and the full co-operation of my excellent solicitor Mr Frank Buttimer.
“My prayer has been for 25 years that the truth would come out.
“They might not actually establish the facts of who’s murdered Ms Toscan du Plantier, all I know is that I had nothing to do with it.
“I never had anything to do with it, that was just a wicked dirty lie. I’m hoping before I die that I receive vindication.”
It’s understood that director Jim Sheridan came across new evidence while making the Sky documentary Murder at the Cottage.
This relates to witness Marie Farrell who initially said she’d seen Mr Bailey close to the scene of the murder that night.
She later retracted her statement and according to reports now said she can identify the individual she saw that night.
Mr Bailey, who split with his long-time partner Jules Thomas earlier this year, said it’s proven “challenging” to find somewhere else to live.
He revealed: “I’m calling this phase of my life operation vacate and relocate. I’m doing my best to do that, but it’s very difficult.
“I want to stay in West Cork. It’s always been pricey and full of yachties, but since Covid prices have almost doubled. An estate agent jokingly showed me a cave on Mount Gabriel and said ‘you can have that.
“‘There’s no electricity but it has running water – water running down the walls’.
“I know a lot of people in similar situations to me looking for accommodation. I don’t know where this is going to end.”
Dismissing rumours that he was now homeless, he added: “No, I’m not living in my car, at least not yet. I’m not living in my car… down here false stories crop up like mushrooms out of a pile of s***e about me.”
As the main garda suspect for an unsolved murder Mr Bailey has gained a peculiar type of celebrity status which he insists he does not court.
But his profile has increased in recent weeks after he joined social media.
He revealed: “I was a 64-year-old social media virgin until about a month ago. I’m now on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
“I had one troll on Twitter but I out-trolled them, I played reverse psychology and now they’ve blocked me.
“The number of things I’m getting coming in particularly on Facebook from the ladies, and I didn’t go looking for it.
“My God. It’s very hard for me to keep up.
“Apparently a friend of mine put up a thing on a dating app I didn’t know about it, then took it down. I am on no dating apps.”
Both the Jim Sheridan documentary and a new Netflix true crime drama, Murder in West Cork, have put the coastal village of Schull firmly back in the spotlight.
The victim’s former neighbour Shirley Foster, who found her body two days before Christmas, has put her house up for sale. Some locals have accused Mr Bailey of “thriving” on the publicity, but he insists he has been persecuted and speaks out only with the purpose of clearing his name.
He said: “I don’t think anybody in the world has gone through what I’ve gone through other than Jesus Christ. I’m not saying I’m like Jesus Christ.
“But for a quarter of a century I’ve been falsely accused of a crime I had nothing to do with.
“I’ve done my best at every twist and turn to deal with it but it’s exhausting. The murderer could well be dead, but I don’t know.
“All I do know is it wasn’t me and it’s very difficult to prove a negative.
“We’ve seen it with the Birmingham Six and the Guilford Four, an awful crime happens and the police have to come up with a suspect.
“I’m the West Cork One. If you want to include Jules, who was arrested for murder, we are the West Cork Two.”