- 04 Jul 17
In 1996, the French film director, Sophie Toscan du Plantier, was murdered just outside the small town of Schull, in West Cork. Twenty years on, no one has any idea what happened on that fateful night. What we do know is that someone in the Gardaí decided that Ian Bailey – a journalist from Manchester who had moved to West Cork six years previously – was the prime suspect. What followed is a tale of incompetence, corruption, abuse of due process, and perversion of the course of justice – plunging Ian Bailey into a never-ending, Kafka-esque nightmare. Here, for the first time, he talks openly and in great detail about the case to a journalist.
It’s a wet and blustery afternoon in West Cork. When Hot Press pulls into the picturesque coastal town of Schull, Ian Kenneth Bailey is parked by the side of the road in an ageing Opel Astra. As agreed over the phone just ten minutes earlier, your correspondent hops out of photographer Kathrin Baumbach’s car and joins the 60-year-old Englishman in his vehicle. Kathrin is to follow as he drives to his home in nearby Liscaha.
February 10th is my birthday.
Right (smiles). I was subsequently arrested on my birthday, which was January 27, 1998. My partner, Jules, was separately arrested on the first occasion. And she was rearrested in September 2000, as was her youngest daughter, Fenella. And I was arrested for the third time, under the European arrest warrant, in 2010. Just before I was going to do my final exams at UCC.