RTÉ must involve me in any Late Late feature on Sophie death, Ian Bailey warns
August 26 2021 02:30 AM
The 64-year-old has threatened to go to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) if the show fails to give him a fair opportunity to defend his innocence.
Mr Bailey admitted he was deeply concerned at reports the Late Late Show will broadcast a segment to mark the 25th anniversary of the unsolved murder of the French woman in West Cork in 1996.
Mr Bailey, who has consistently protested his innocence in relation to the crime, insisted if he is to be mentioned as part of any Late Late Show programme, he wants the opportunity to defend himself on air.
“I cannot imagine that they will have any kind of interview about the case without my name being mentioned,” the writer said.
“If RTÉ does not give me the opportunity to set out my innocence and defend myself, I will be making a complaint to the broadcasting authorities.
“But I have heard nothing so far about it.”
RTÉ has remained tightlipped about potentially dealing with the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder on the Late Late Show, insisting full details of its autumn schedule will be released shortly.
“We will announce our guests next week. Tune in for the first show on Friday, September 3,” a spokesperson said.
Mr Bailey said he has been the focus of threats, intimidation and being ostracised since 1997, as a result of being wrongly linked to the crime.
Over the years he has had a rat stuffed in his letterbox, a noose displayed near his home and been subjected to anonymous threats, both in writing and over the telephone.
“It has been a nightmare – a nightmare that I can’t seem to escape from,” the Manchester-born poet, journalist and law graduate said.
“There are times when I feel like a hunted animal.
“There are devils out there who know I am innocent but they stood by and watched as I was bonfired. I am an innocent man. I have been saying that for almost 25 years.
“But there are times I feel as if people are trying to feed off my carcass while I am still alive.”
Mrs Toscan du Plantier’s son, Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud, has been linked with an interview on the opening programme of presenter Ryan Tubridy’s autumn season of the show.
Mr Baudey-Vignaud was just 15 when his mother was battered to death by an intruder on a laneway leading from her isolated holiday home at Toormore, outside Schull, on December 23, 1996.
The 39-year-was old killed when she was repeatedly beaten with a stone and a concrete block.
Mr Baudey-Vignaud named his eldest child Sophie in honour of his mother and has insisted on keeping the Toormore cottage she described as her “dream home”. He vowed that he will never stop campaigning for justice for his mother.
Interest in the case is at an all-time high, with TV documentaries broadcast by Sky and Netflix over the summer on the killing, as well as four books published in Ireland, the UK and France.
Jim Sheridan’s documentary, Murder at the Cottage, which was broadcast by Sky, is now to be released in the US by the major network, NBC.