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Ian Bailey says Sophie Toscan du Plantier's family won't find peace until real killer is found

ian bailey

ian bailey

Eoin Murphy

Ian Bailey believes that the family of murdered Sophie Toscan Du Plantier will not be able to move on unless the real killer is found.

The journalist also spoke of his relief after learning that the State will not appeal the High Court's decision refusing his extradition to France to serve a 25-year prison sentence the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier 24 years ago.

Speaking from his home in west Cork, Ian Bailey said that the judgment was a relief to him, but was more important for his partner Jules Thomas and his legal team.

"There are no victors in this, only victims and it is such a mess,” he told the Sunday World.

“For the French family and for myself and Jules. I don’t think the French family will be able to move on.

“They have bought into the false narrative and convinced themselves that I am responsible for Sophie Toscan De Plantier’s death.

“And I don’t think anything other than someone coming out and saying it wasn’t me will shift them.

“I have gone to great lengths to thank my long-suffering partner Jules and also Frank Buttimer and his wonderful legal team.

“I am more pleased for them than I am for myself in a stranger way.

“Over the years I have learned to detach myself from, without becoming inhuman, from things.

“I recommend meditation. But I am relieved that there has been a conclusion to this but really, this won’t end for me until the real killer has been brought to justice.”

Mr Bailey (63) of The Prairie, Liscaha, Schull, west Cork, denies any involvement in the death of Ms du Plantier, who was found dead outside her holiday home in Schull in December 1996.

He has been twice arrested but never charged in relation to her death.

In May 2019, the former journalist was convicted of the French woman’s murder in his absence by the three-judge Cour d’Assises (criminal trial court) in Paris, which went on to impose a 25-year prison sentence.

He did not attend the French court and had no legal representation in the proceedings, which he has described as a “farce”.

His story will be the subject of a Jim Sheridan documentary, which is due to go on general release next year on streaming giant Netflix.

Sheridan, who directed the Oscar winning movie My Left Foot, has been filming a documentary on the murder case for five years but had halted production as the extradition order was pending.

Over the course of the €1.5 million project he has amassed over 4000 hours of footage and has even spoken to relatives of the victim in Paris.

And while Mr Bailey said he would watch the finished article when released; it won’t have a profound impact on his life.

“I am sure I will watch it when it comes out, like I listened to the (West Cork Murders) podcast,” he added.

“Ultimately, unless new information, and it may still come out, which will absolutely indicate that it is absolutely, definitely not me, it is going to have little bearing on my real existence.”

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