Du Plantier's parents thank locals


THE PARENTS of murdered French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier yesterday thanked the people of west Cork for their support over the past 15 years as they remembered their daughter at a special anniversary Mass in Goleen.

Georges and Marguerite Bouniol expressed their gratitude to the people of Goleen, Schull and Bantry at the Mass at the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea and St Patrick in Goleen at midday yesterday.

Parish priest Fr Alan O’Leary welcomed the Bouniols and their friends Jean Antoine and Marie Paule Bloc-Daudet of the Association for the Truth about the Murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

After Communion, Ms Bouniol went to the altar to address the congregation in French, with Mr Bloc-Daudet translating her words of appreciation to all who have helped them.

“We, Sophie’s parents, have come here today to thank all the inhabitants of Goleen, Schull and Bantry and other places around. We thank you for all your messages of sympathy – expressed through few words and smiles that said to us, ‘Be strong – we support you’,” she said.

“We have been missing Sophie now for 15 years and we look for her in all the places where she lived and near the people she loved and we too have found great support by your side,” she said.

People listened intently as Ms Bouniol went on to speak of how she still relives the murder of her daughter whose body was found near the entrance to her holiday home at Dreenane, Toormore, near Schull on the morning of December 23rd, 1996.

“Sometimes I dream I am holding Sophie in my arms and close to my heart and I tell her not to worry. I say to her: ‘We are here with you. I deeply regret that I was not there with you that night.’ ”

Earlier, Mr and Ms Bouniol laid a bouquet of white lilies by the simple stone cross that marks the isolated spot where her daughter’s badly beaten body was found by her neighbour, Shirley Foster.

Joining the Bouniols and their friends were Françoise Letellier, the French consul in Cork; Supt Liam Horgan; and Aurelie Bonal from the French embassy, who laid a bouquet of roses.