Ian Bailey addresses Cork Philosophical Society

Focus of much of talk on such controversies as closure of rural banks and Garda stations

Ian Bailey, who last night  addressed the West Cork Philosophical Society. “My name is Ian Bailey,” he began. “As you will discern from my accent, I am not a native of this manor although after 21 years here I am beginning to feel integrated.” Photograph : Matt Kavanagh

Ian Bailey, who last night addressed the West Cork Philosophical Society. “My name is Ian Bailey,” he began. “As you will discern from my accent, I am not a native of this manor although after 21 years here I am beginning to feel integrated.” Photograph : Matt Kavanagh

Fri, Apr 19, 2013, 06:00


About 30 men and women came to a hotel in Skibbereen last night to hear former journalist turned legal academic Ian Bailey address the West Cork Philosophical Society.

“An Introduction to Jurisprudence: The Philosophical Basis of Law: Aristotelian Distributive Justice to Post Modern Distributive Justice” was the the title of his paper.

“My name is Ian Bailey,” he began in his precise English accent: “As you will discern from my accent, I am not a native of this manor although after 21 years here I am beginning to feel integrated.”

There followed a whistle-stop tour through the minds of some of history’s most celebrated thinkers: Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Cicero, Thomas Aquinas and Karl Marx, with a brief nod toward Monty Python en route. “So if the question of what the Romans ever did for us is ever asked, the answer – besides straight roads, central hearing, fine wines, olive oil, language, brothels and pizza – is the possibility of a civil law remedy,” he observed to a somewhat muted response.

Mr Bailey made no mention of his struggles in the courts and his successful Supreme Court appeal against his extradition to France for questioning about the 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. He has always denied involvement.

He focused much of his address on such controversies as the closure of rural banks and Garda stations, the reduction in public services and child and carers’ benefits.