‘I feel nothing, he isn’t in my thoughts’: Jules Thomas on the late Ian Bailey

Artist, who was Bailey’s partner for three decades, remains convinced he was innocent of murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier

Jules Thomas, the ex-partner of Ian Bailey, continued working on a commission of a large painting she is completing after hearing news of his death. “I feel nothing, he’s gone and he isn’t in my thoughts, that’s it,” the Welsh-born artist said.

She was speaking from her wind-battered cottage at the height of Sunday afternoon’s storm a half-hour’s drive from the spot where her former long-term partner had collapsed and died.

Ms Thomas (74) stood by the self-confessed murder suspect through three decades of accusations and court cases. When news of their separation spread around the markets of West Cork – they had shared a stall for years at the seasonal Schull farmers and craft market – Ian Bailey told acquaintances that he was heartbroken and worried that he had nowhere to go after Jules told him to leave.

At the time Thomas said she had asked Bailey to leave many times but he took no notice.


“I put up with him for too long,” she said in an interview in April 2021. “Men like him don’t ever bend; it’s to do with their egos.”

In the intervening years Ms Thomas said she had been able to work well “because I am not so interfered with mentally any more”.

She said she had “no emotional connection with him for quite a long time”.

“I relieved myself of any of that a long time ago,” she said.

Though sorry to hear of his death – “as I would about anyone else I know” – she said she is “not even thinking about him, he’s gone and he isn’t in my thoughts, that’s it”.

She said Bailey’s failing health – several heart attacks in recent times – were not something she concerned herself as she had moved on with her life. But she said the “endless attention and speculation” was “bound to have had an effect on his declining health”.

Asked whether some will believe that her former partner goes to his grave with knowledge about the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, Ms Thomas said: “Some people get convinced of all sorts of rubbish and I’m not really interested in anything that doesn’t affect me. One thing I know is that he was innocent of it.”

She said this wasn’t a belief but rather something she knew. “I knew he couldn’t have done it,” she said.

Thomas has previously confirmed that Mr Bailey was physically abusive to her. He was convicted of domestic violence after inflicting injuries serious enough for her to be hospitalised on one occasion.

Ms Thomas, the daughter of a psychiatrist and granddaughter of a wealthy Welsh mine owner, attended a top private school and went to art college in the UK.

She arrived in West Cork in the early eighties and met journalist Ian Bailey in Schull where he had started working in a fish processing factory. In 1991 their relationship began as that of landlady and tenant after she rented him a room in one of her two properties. Bailey introduced her to the pub music scene in West Cork and they became a couple.

In March 2021, it emerged that Ms Thomas had broken up with Bailey, telling him their relationship was over.

She said she had been previously reluctant to cut ties with him for fear people thought she believed he was guilty of Sophie Toscan Plantier’s murder

Ms Thomas is pursuing a High Court action against Netflix for violating her space and person during the filming of its hit documentary series about Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s murder. She alleges that unauthorised filming took place at her home near Schull and stills of her were also used without her permission. “Ian’s death has nothing whatsoever to do with any of this or my determination to carry on with this legal case; its chugging along slowly but I will see it through,” she said.

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