I have no choice but to stay here for the moment, I have nowhere else to go, says evicted Ian Bailey
- Published: 22:10, 1 May 2023
EVICTED Ian Bailey has refused to leave his gaff.
The self-confessed murder suspect was informed he had to be out of his rented Cork pad by May — but was last night staying put.
Bailey, 64, told us: “I have no choice but to stay here for the moment because I have nowhere else to go. I will only leave when I have somewhere else to live. I do not want to be homeless.”
Poet Bailey — who was twice questioned over the 1996 murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier but never charged — received notice to quit before Christmas.
He was able to remain in the one bedroom flat in Bantry due to the eviction ban but when it was lifted in March, he was told he had to leave by May.
But Bailey said he is planning to stay put in the apartment, partially paid for by the State under the HAP scheme, until he finds alternative accommodation.
It is understood the council helped him get his current pad as he was effectively homeless when he had to leave ex Jules Thomas’s property in 2020.
He found temporary emergency accommodation provided by Cork County Council before finding a small flat near Bantry.
Bailey — who’s always denied any involvement in Sophie’s death — said he is no different than thousands of others facing eviction and the situation is a nightmare.
He previously told of the “severe anxiety and fear” the eviction notice has caused him.
Bailey said: “After all I have been through I do not know what I am going to do. It is extremely worrying and stressful.
“I have been given until May 1 to vacate and I am trying to find alternative accommodation in west Cork where I have lived for 30 years.
“But any form of accommodation in Ireland at the moment is rarer than hen’s teeth.
“The situation is causing me severe anxiety, fear and apprehension.”
Gardai say Mr Bailey has kept a low profile in Bantry since arriving there and occasionally appears at west Cork markets selling his poetry.
Mr Bailey regards himself as a former suspect in the Sophie case following the launch of a Garda cold case review into the high profile 1996 murder last year.
The Gardai now privately classify him as a “person of interest” in the case.
He has so far not been interviewed as part of the cold case review.
It is understood detectives are following up new leads from west Cork to Britain and France. Garda officers are expected to fly to Paris later this year to follow up enquiries there.
Ian Bailey always denies killing Sophie and maintains to this day that he never knew her.
The film director Jim Sheridan, who spent seven years investigating the case for a documentary on Sky, strongly believes Bailey is innocent and that the killer came from France.
Bailey was convicted of murder in absentia by a French court over three years ago and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Mr Bailey never showed up for the trial which was branded a “kangaroo court” by his lawyers and included hear-say evidence that would never be admissible in an Irish court of law.
The Irish judiciary have refused to extradite him due to severe doubts over the French conviction.
The Irish Government has refused to intervene and are leaving it up to the Gardai to solve.
Two documentaries, one by Sky which was produced and directed by Jim Sheridan and the other by Netflix, have created huge interest in the case worldwide.