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Public scrutiny Ian Bailey says he 'was deeply hurt' after being 'asked to leave a restaurant'

"There are times I think that some people will only be happy when I am dead,” he said.

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Bailey has said documentaries have renewed speculation

Bailey has said documentaries have renewed speculation

Bailey has said documentaries have renewed speculation

Ian Bailey has said he was turned away from a west Cork restaurant as the owner did not “want my sort in the place”.

The Manchester-born freelance journalist has told how the recent release of two TV documentaries about the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier has drawn renewed public interest upon him.

Mr Bailey (64) – a poet and law graduate – said the current spotlight of public attention was the worst it has been since the 1996 murder.

He said he was “deeply hurt” after recently being asked to leave a restaurant by a manager.

"It did hurt,” he said. “Most people here in west Cork have been very kind and understanding. I have some friends who have been really good to me. I don't know what I would do without their support."

Over the years he has received upsetting hate mail and been targeted by social media trolls.

"There are times I think that some people will only be happy when I am dead,” he said.

Mr Bailey said his every move is being now being scrutinised by locals and tourists alike – as he agreed that the intense public interest in the case was generating a form of "murder tourism" locally.

It emerged last week that people were flocking to sites in Schull associated with the brutal killing of the French mother of one on December 23, 1996.

Some tourists were even taking selfies at the spot where the body of Ms Toscan du Plantier (39) was found.

He said everyone has been taken aback by the public reaction to the two documentaries.

Mr Bailey insisted he has not watched the two productions by Sky and Netflix – and maintained that he does not go out of his way to attract attention to himself.

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"I am an innocent man. My life has been a total nightmare from being wrongly associated with this awful crime for over 24 years. It has been like a torture that I cannot get away from."

He said that he tries to only speak out when his innocence is challenged.

"I've read that some people are describing what has been going on here in Schull as a form of 'murder tourism'. I can see what they mean."

Mr Bailey said he is regularly stared at, his every movement watched and whispered conversations are conducted about him within earshot. People approach him at his market stall just to take photographs.

"I have safe places in west Cork that I go to – the quiet helps.

"I also practise Theravada forest Buddhism meditation to deal with stress.

"It has been enormously helpful when you feel you are caught in the eye of a hurricane."

Mr Bailey was twice arrested by gardaí in respect of the du Plantier investigation in 1997 and 1998 but was released without charge on both occasions.

He has always protested his innocence and maintained that sinister attempts were made to frame him.

He was convicted in absentia of the killing by a Paris court in May 2019 after a prosecution he dismissed as "a show trial" and "a mockery of justice."

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