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Justice for Sophie Jim Sheridan hopes new documentary on brutal murder will help solve Toscan du Plantier case

Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie is set to premiere on Sky Crime on Sunday, June 20

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Award-winning movie director Jim Sheridan has said he hopes his new documentary series on the brutal murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier “will help bring about a definitive conclusion to the case”. 

A new trailer and premiere date for the highly anticipated Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie has been unveiled by Sky.

The series, which is produced, directed and features the six-time Oscar nominated director, is set to premiere on Sky Crime on Sunday, June 20.

It will be released in full as a box set with all episodes available to watch on Sky Crime and on streaming service NOW.

Sheridan, who brought us My Left Foot and In The Name of The Father said that while many stories fascinate him as a filmmaker, “this story compels me”.

“In 1996, Sophie - a young mother, a wife, a film producer and a daughter – died just yards from her holiday home in West Cork,” Sheridan explains.

“To this day, the case remains unsolved in Ireland, while the key suspect has been found guilty in France.

“As a guest of the nation, Sophie’s murder continues to carry implications for the meaning of justice in Ireland and in France. Two legal systems and two investigations by the French and the Irish found two very different conclusions.

“I wanted to understand how that could happen, to search for justice and to help uncover the truth. I hope this series will help bring about a definitive conclusion to the case.”

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Jim Sheridan on location filming Murder at the Cottage, his series about the death of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier. Photograph by Barbara McCarthy © Sky UK 2021

Jim Sheridan on location filming Murder at the Cottage, his series about the death of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier. Photograph by Barbara McCarthy © Sky UK 2021

Jim Sheridan on location filming Murder at the Cottage, his series about the death of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier. Photograph by Barbara McCarthy © Sky UK 2021

Having worked on the project for almost a decade and followed the case over the past 25 years, Sheridan will take viewers on a journey as he pieces together original evidence, never-before-seen footage, archive material and new interviews with those closest to the case.

Each episode will take viewers deeper into the case that has haunted West Cork for a quarter of a century.

In 1996, two days before Christmas, Sophie, the wife of French filmmaker Daniel Toscan du Plantier, was brutally murdered at her holiday cottage in Schull, West Cork. The murder rocked the quiet, Irish town and 25 years later, the case remains a mystery.

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Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered in 1996

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered in 1996

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered in 1996

The key suspect, English journalist Ian Bailey – the first reporter on the scene – was quickly arrested by local gardaí following eye-witness reports, yet was never found guilty in Ireland, owing to a lack of reliable evidence.

Despite this, Bailey was found guilty in absentia by the French courts in 2019 and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Having successfully fought repeated extradition requests from the French authorities, Bailey still resides in West Cork and maintains his innocence to this day.

The series is directed by Sheridan and Executive Produced by Catherine O’Flaherty for Hell’s Kitchen, with Gary Davey as Executive Producer for Sky Studios.

The series is Produced by Sheridan and Donal MacIntyre of Dare Films. The Series Editor is Gretta Ohle, with Iseult Howlett as Editor for episodes 4 & 5.

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