Bailey had met Toscan du Plantier, says producer

ENGLISH JOURNALIST Ian Bailey knew murdered French woman Sophie Toscan du Plantier and met her on at least two occasions contrary…

ENGLISH JOURNALIST Ian Bailey knew murdered French woman Sophie Toscan du Plantier and met her on at least two occasions contrary to his evidence to a libel trial in 2003, The Irish Timeshas been told.

Mr Bailey (53), who was twice arrested and released without charge after being questioned about Ms Toscan du Plantier’s murder, repeatedly denied during his libel action against seven newspaper publishers that he knew or ever met the 39-year-old French film producer.

However, two people who knew Ms Toscan du Plantier have informed The Irish Timesthat Mr Bailey knew the French woman.

Separately, it has been established that another person has told gardaí he saw Mr Bailey speaking to her at an event in west Cork in 1995.


Ms Toscan du Plantier’s body was discovered near her holiday home at Toormore near Schull, west Cork on December 23rd, 1996. She had been beaten to death.

French filmmaker Guy Girard said Ms Toscan du Plantier had mentioned to him that she knew Mr Bailey in a conversation just three weeks before she was murdered. Mr Girard said he was working on a film with her called Il Voit Les Plis Partout at the company she created, Les Champs Blanc, from August 1996 until she departed for Ireland in December of that year.

“I went to present some of my films exploring the theme of violence to university students at a festival in Besançon at the end of November that year and when I returned from showing these films, I told Sophie that I had been showing these films on violence.

“It was a subject that interested her and we discussed it further and she mentioned that she knew somebody who was also interested in the theme of violence and had written about it and she said that his name was Bailey.

“I said ‘Oh, I know him – Edwin Baily, the film producer’ and she said ‘No, you could not know him – his name is Ian Bailey, he is a freelance writer who lives near me in Ireland’. She seemed to know him well and knew about his writings.”

Mr Girard said he could date the conversation to the first two days of December 1996 after he had returned from Besançon and he remembered it clearly because of the similarity between Ian Bailey’s name and that of French film producer, Edwin Baily.

Meanwhile, Leo Bolger from west Cork, said he was present when Mr Bailey was introduced to Ms Toscan du Plantier by her neighbour Alfie Lyons outside his house at Toormore, sometime in the early 1990s.

Contacted about these claims and the fact that another man had told gardaí that he saw Mr Bailey speaking to Ms Toscan du Plantier on Cape Clear in 1995, Mr Bailey referred The Irish Timesto his solicitor Frank Buttimer.

The Irish Timessubmitted a request for comment to Mr Buttimer on January 25th and this week Mr Buttimer confirmed that he had met his client regarding the matter.

He said Mr Bailey had no comment to make regarding the claims that he knew Ms Toscan du Plantier.

Supt Liam Horgan, who is heading the inquiry into the killing, said it remained under active investigation and constant review.