Ian Bailey’s trial in France puts Ireland in difficult position

Will a murder conviction handed down by a European ally not be recognised here?

Sophie Toscan du Plantier and her son Pierre-Louis, who has grown into a self-assured family spokesman

Sophie Toscan du Plantier and her son Pierre-Louis, who has grown into a self-assured family spokesman

The murder of a French woman in west Cork dominated the news at the end of 1996. I spent the holidays in Dublin and still remember the moment I first saw her photograph in the newspaper. A friend remarked sadly: “This lovely young woman came to Ireland and now she’s dead.”

I had just started work as Paris correspondent of The Irish Times. I knew I would look into the story on my return, but I had no idea that it would be a near-constant thread of my work in France, that I would write dozens of articles about the case, and that, nearly 23 years later, I would be preparing to cover Ian Bailey’s trial for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

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