At a Glance: Talk of ‘porkie pies’, a radio interview and a tape recorder

Ian Bailey is questioned about newspaper and interviews

Ian Bailey’s case against the State continues at the Four Courts in Dublin. Photograph: Getty

Ian Bailey’s case against the State continues at the Four Courts in Dublin. Photograph: Getty



Ian BaileyLuán Ó Braonáin


Today with Pat KennyRTÉSophie Toscan du Plantier

In hindsight and at that particular time it was reasonable, Mr Bailey replied, but the knowledge he later gained showed him it was not a reasonable suspicion. “I’m not accepting that my arrest was based on anything legal,” he said later.

l Mr Bailey was arrested for a second time on January 27th, 1998, his birthday. The warrant listed seven grounds for arrest, including that he told journalist Michael McSweeney that he took photos of the crime scene at 11.30am on the day Ms du Plantier’s body was found, whereas he previously told gardaí he didn’t arrive at the scene until 1.40pm that day. Mr Bailey denied telling Mr McSweeney this. Another of the grounds was that, in submitting articles to the newspapers, Mr Bailey revealed information about specific severe head injuries which was at the time known only to the State Pathologist and a small number of gardaí. Mr Bailey told the court these details “were commonly circulating”.

l Mr Ó Braonáin put it to the witness that there was no evidence that his arrest in January 1998 was based only on the statement of Marie Farrell, a Schull resident who the court has been told will give evidence at a later stage. “No,” Mr Bailey replied, but her statement was the “catalyst”.

l The questioning then returned to 1997. On June 22nd, Mr Bailey said Ms Farrell approached him at the Galley Inn in Schull and told him she needed to speak to him. She said she was receiving visits from gardaí, and they were “leaning on her”, Mr Bailey said. A week later, he met her by arrangement at an ice-cream parlour in the village. Mr Bailey had a tape recorder attached to his belt, but told the court he had decided not to use it unless Ms Farrell consented.

l Mr Ó Braonáin put it to the witness that he brought two pieces of paper to that meeting: one was a poem about two gardaí and the other was a note containing Ms Farrell’s former address in London. Mr Bailey said he may have brought the poem but it was a “porkie pie” to say he brought a piece of paper with Ms Farrell’s address in London. If he had brought such items with him, would he accept that it could lead to the inference that he was there to intimidate Ms Farrell? “It’s fiction,” Mr Bailey replied.

l Mr Bailey denied he was intoxicated when he went to the ice-cream parlour for the meeting with Ms Farrell, and “completed rejected” the suggestion that it was not unusual for him to be intoxicated at midday. He agreed that, the day he visited Ms Farrell at the ice-cream parlour, a young man gave him a sip of his beer.

l Mr Bailey agreed a main plank of his case is that his second arrest was mainly to do with the claims concerning Ms Farrell but said there were other planks. He had been chosen as a suspect and then gardaí tried to find evidence to put him in the frame, he said.

l Mr Justice John Hedigan stressed the issue for the jury to decide was not whether Mr Bailey killed Ms Toscan du Plantier or whether the various statements made by him and other parties were true or not.

The State’s defence includes a plea there were reasonable grounds for gardaí to question and arrest Mr Bailey and that was why these matters were being put to him, the judge said.