Gardai in Cork, Make new Appeal to the people of West Cork, to Try and Solve, the Murder of Sophie du Plantier, 26 Years Ago? Ian Bailey was found Guilty, in France, but Never faced Charges, in Ireland?

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Gardaí say Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier’s family ‘deserve to know what happened’

“Sophie has been denied the right to experience being a grandmother.”

Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier. Picture by Patrick Zimmermann/AFP via Getty Images
Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier. Picture by Patrick Zimmermann/AFP via Getty Images — © AFP via Getty Images

12th December 2022

Gardaí say the family of murdered woman Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier “deserves to know what happened”, as they made a public appeal today.

The French woman had been holidaying in Schull when she was murdered in December 1996.

Almost 26 years later, her death remains unsolved.

Investigators believe there are people who have information and who have not yet come forward as well as those who “may have spoken to gardaí but were not in a position to tell everything that they know.”

Superintendent Joseph Moore has urged them to get in touch with investigators as the 26th anniversary of Madame Du Plantier’s death approaches.

“Sophie’s family still live in France and all of her siblings deserve to know what happened to their mother, daughter, wife, friend,” Superintendent Moore said.

“Sophie has been denied the right to experience being a grandmother. Sophie deserves the truth behind her murder to be known.”

He urged that no detail is too small as gardaí continue to piece together the young mum’s final days.

Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier. Picture by Patrick Zimmermann/AFP via Getty Images
Sophie Tuscan Du Plantier. Picture by Patrick Zimmermann/AFP via Getty Images — © AFP via Getty Images

“I appeal to people who have information relative to Sophie’s murder not to assume we know and/or that it has limited value,” he added.

“Let us make that decision. I cannot reiterate that enough.”

Issuing the appeal, Superintendent Moore said:

“I want to speak to any person who met, spoke with or had any interaction with Sophie from when she arrived in Ireland (both at Dublin and at Cork Airport) on the 20 December 1996 until Sophie’s body was discovered at 10am on the morning of the 23rd December 1996.

“I want to speak with any person who was in the Toormore area of County Cork between 20th December and 23rd December 1996, in particular anyone who was driving on the R591 or R592. If you haven’t spoken to Gardaí already, please make contact, we need to talk to you.

“In particular I want to establish the movements of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier between 4.30pm on the 22nd of December 1996 and when her body was discovered on the morning of the 23rd of December 1996 at 10am.

“Any person who has knowledge of this period of time must come to An Garda Síochána and let us know exactly what happened at the home and grounds where Sophie lived during those hours on those dates,” he said.

“I would urge person(s) with information in relation to the Murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier to please come forward to either the investigation team at Bantry Garda Station at 02720860, your local Garda Station or the Garda Confidential telephone line 1800 666 111.”

The French producer had visited her holiday home in West Cork many times in the three years before her death, arriving in Ireland for the last time on December 20.

She travelled first into Dublin airport before Cork airport and then hired a Silver Ford Fiesta and spent time at the Mizen Peninsula for a few days.

An ongoing investigation into what happened to Sophie before her body was found on December 23 has been led by Gardaí in Bantry.

Multiple documentaries and a hit podcast have told the story of her murder while Gardaí continue to try find her killer.

Ian Bailey, the self-proclaimed chief suspect in her murder, was tried in France for her killing and was found guilty in abstentia in 2019.

The High Court has refused on multiple occasions to extradite the former journalist.

French authorities sought the surrender of Mr Bailey in 2010 but the application was refused by the Supreme Court in 2012.

When asked at the time of the ruling if he had a message for Ms du Plantier’s family, he said: “I’m very sympathetic to the family and I know that they believe for whatever reason that I had something to do with the death of their daughter.

“But I had nothing to do with it. I can’t say much more than that.”

Mr Bailey was twice arrested but never charged in Ireland in connection with Ms Toscan du Plantier’s murder.

He has repeatedly denied any involvement in her death.

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