Gsoc sees no ‘great value’ in reinterviewing Marie Farrell

Witness in Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder inquiry will not be questioned again

Marie Farrell said during Ian Bailey’s action against the State that she must have been “getting confused with fact and fiction” during interview with Gsoc in 2012. Photograph: Courts Collins

Marie Farrell said during Ian Bailey’s action against the State that she must have been “getting confused with fact and fiction” during interview with Gsoc in 2012. Photograph: Courts Collins

 

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) will not reinterview a key witness in the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder inquiry despite her retracting a previous statement about Ian Bailey.

A High Court jury this week unanimously dismissed claims by Mr Bailey that gardaí conspired to implicate him in the murder by getting Marie Farrell via threats, intimidation or inducements to make statements they knew to be false.

In February 2012, Gsoc began an investigation into allegations by Mr Bailey of Garda wrongdoing in the murder inquiry.

As part of its investigation, which is expected to be concluded within months, Gsoc took statements from Mr Bailey, his partner Jules Thomas and Ms Farrell, a key witness in the original Garda investigation. They also spoke to both serving and retired gardaí.

Last December Ms Farrell told Mr Bailey’s High Court action against the State that she must have been “getting confused with fact and fiction” during a detailed interview with Gsoc investigators in 2012.

Retraction

During the High Court case Ms Farrell also denied there was any truth in a statement she had made to gardaí in July 1997 that Mr Bailey came into her shop on June 1997 and produced details about her life in London, including a complaint of welfare fraud made against her to the department of social security.

In the High Court, the State produced a video recording of the 2012 interview she gave to Gsoc investigators in which she confirmed her 1997 statement about Mr Bailey’s visit in the shop including about his comments about her life in London.

Asked by defence counsel Paul O’Higgins SC if she was standing by her evidence that Mr Bailey never said any of that to her on June 28th, 1997, Ms Farrell confirmed she was. “I don’t know how I got mixed up there but I am telling you what I said here is the truth,” she said.

Gsoc declined to comment on the specifics of the inquiry but said that, as with any of its investigations, “it would be normal that all significant witnesses” would be interviewed.

However, The Irish Times has learned that Gsoc investigators have not reinterviewed Ms Farrell since her testimony to the High Court in December and have no plans to do so. “The team didn’t feel there was any great value in going back to her,” said one informed source.

Witnesses