Jim Sheridan to make new documentary on murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier
Story by John Kierans 25th December 2022
Legendary director Jim Sheridan is to make a new 90-minute film documentary on the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
It will focus on the current Garda cold case review, plus the French end of the murder in which Sheridan feels the answer to the 26-year-old murder riddle lies.
The film is likely to be broadcast later in the year.
It will also feature an extensive interview with a key witness Marie Farrell, who claims she saw Sophie being followed in Schull, west Cork on the day she was killed and has identified a possible suspect in France to the gardai.
However she is also the same person who falsely claimed she saw suspect Ian Bailey washing blood from his boots near Sophie’s home hours after she was battered to death and alleged gardai told her to say it.
She had to flee her shop in Cork and make a new life for herself in another part of the country, such was the intense scrutiny on her in relation to the case.
Sheridan, 73, said: “I have spent over seven years investigating this murder and I am convinced Sophie was killed by someone she knew.
“I genuinely believe the answer to the murder will be found in France and the gardai, in fairness to them, were blocked from investigating the whole French end of the murder by the French authorities from the get go.
“I now hope they get access to everything they need and follow up new leads they have been given.
“I would like to know if they have interviewed Marie Farrell, or pub owner Dan Griffin, who also saw this mystery man with Sophie on the last day she was seen alive.
“Only five people in Ireland knew where her holiday home was, but about 100 people in France knew where Sophie had her holiday home.
“There were people living on the road beside Sophie who had absolutely no idea who she was or that she owned the house beside them.”
The Oscar-nominated film-maker, who made My Left Foot and In the Name of the Father, said Sophie’s late husband Daniel was a dark horse who behaved suspiciously in the days, weeks and years after his beautiful young wife was so brutally murdered.
He stated: “He deliberately refused to be interviewed by gardai who went to Paris to see him after her death and instead made a statement to the French police, which was of little use to the Irish detectives.
“It was very strange that he did not fly to Cork to bring her body home and that he didn’t return to her holiday home until years later.”
Sheridan does not believe Ian Bailey is the killer and said there is “zero evidence” against him.
He added: “If Bailey was charged he would never get a fair trial in Ireland. He has been tried by the media and people have already made their mind up on him one way or the other on him.
“The truth in this case lies in France and in tracking down the unknown person who left a blood sample at the murder scene.
“That was the only blood that was not Sophie’s and more than likely belonged to the killer.”
There was was also no break-in to Sophie’s house, no sexual assault and she died in a frenzied attack – all of which appears to back up Sheridan’s theory.
The director’s five-part series Murder At the Cottage: The Search For Justice For Sophie, which was initially shown on Sky, has been seen by millions across the globe and has had a massive audience in the USA.
He added: “I just want to see justice for Sophie and that the gardai eventually catch the real killer.”