Never happened | 

Sinéad O'Connor accuses Ian Bailey of 'lying his face off' about the contents of their lunchtime conversation

'Bailey lying his face off. Saying we were discussing putting his poems to music. NEVER happened'

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

Sinéad O'Connor has accused Ian Bailey of “lying his face off” after he claimed the singer was interested in turning some of his poetry into songs during a lunchtime meeting when they were pictured together.

Sinead and Bailey, the chief suspect in the 1996 murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier, were spotted together outside a restaurant in Glengarriff in West Cork.

He was quoted as saying Sinead had “become aware” of his poetry and “she was interested in my poetry with a view to turn one or two of them into songs”.

He added: "Also Sinéad is now a journalist working for the Sunday Independent … Ms O'Connor approached me as a professional working journalist and expressed interest in talking to me about her new column in the Sindo."

But Sinead said that “never happened” in an angry tweet this morning.

"Bailey lying his face off in the Star today. Saying we were discussing putting his poems to music. NEVER happened," she wrote.

Ian Bailey

"Can star call me to confirm in future before they run his lies?"

In a series of earlier tweets, Sinead said she had asked Ian Bailey “5 questions other reporters have never asked but should”.

“During the course of our interview which was filmed and transcribed for The Irish Sunday Independent, Bailey made his very 1st ever public plea for the real killer/killers to come forward,” she tweeted.

Earlier this week, the Manchester-born freelance journalist told how he was turned away from a west Cork restaurant as the owner did not “want my sort in the place”.

He also explained 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.

In recent weeks Bailey has set up a Twitter account in which he describes himself in his profile as “a journalist, poet and legal academic”.

Having joined in June 2021, the first tweet to his now 1,512 followers from the account for an Ian Kenneth Bailey reads: ‘I’m just a piece of driftwood bobbing in the tides of life and strife…waiting for the next crashing wave to break me or take me to a higher place.”

This is the latest social media outlet for Mr Bailey, who set up an Instagram page ahead of the release of the documentaries.

In his first post he advertised is his stall in Schull Sunday Market and said he had “poetry, hand carved wooden bowls, platters and Indian yak hide bags”.

The 64-year-old Englishman was convicted in absentia of the killing by a Paris court in 2019 but has always vehemently protested his innocence.

He has described the new Netflix three-part film, ‘Sophie: A Murder in West Cork’ Plantier as “propaganda.”

The documentary features interviews with Sophie’s family, West Cork locals, those involved in the investigation and Bailey himself.

However, Mr Bailey, who has always maintained his innocence, despite being found guilty in his absence by a French court, described the work as a “piece of self-serving, demonising propaganda.”

The 64-year-old told Newstalk Breakfast that he gave a “brief interview” to the filmmakers and has twice contacted Netflix asking for it to be removed.

“From what I have seen of it - and I have seen clips from it - yes, unfortunately, I think it is a piece of self-serving, demonising propaganda,” he said.

Mr Bailey already features in the five-part documentary from Irish director Jim Sheridan ‘Murder at the Cottage: The search for justice for Sophie’, which is currently streaming on Sky.

“The thing about the Jim doc is that Jim undertook to make an objective documentary,” he told Newstalk.

“From all I can see from the Netflix production is there is very little objectivity in it. It is written from a biased slant.”

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