Ian Bailey speaks of sadness at being unable to attend mother’s funeral

European arrest warrant issued by French authorities prevented Bailey from travelling outside of Ireland

 Ian Bailey pictured  last year after his successful Supreme Court appeal against his extradition to France. Photograph: Collins

Ian Bailey pictured last year after his successful Supreme Court appeal against his extradition to France. Photograph: Collins

 

Former journalist, Ian Bailey yesterday spoke of his sadness and regret at being unable to visit his dying mother or attend her funeral in the UK because of restrictions imposed on him by a European Arrest Warrant issued for him in France.

Mr Bailey’s widowed mother, Brenda died at a nursing home at Leigh-on-Sea in Essex in mid-May at the age of 87 but Mr Bailey was unable to travel to the UK to see her before she died or attend her funeral because of the issuing of a warrant in France.

Mr Bailey won a Supreme Court appeal against extradition in 2012 but the warrant issued by the French for his arrest in connection with the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier remains extant elsewhere including in the UK where he faces arrest and extradition to France.

A British citizen, Mr Bailey (56) told The Irish Times that he found the situation particularly difficult when his mother’s health began to fail given he knew he wouldn’t be able to get to see her before she died or attend her funeral after she passed away.

“I was aware that she was becoming weaker and frailer from earlier this year - I used to visit her a couple of times a year and had been over in early 2010 before the European arrest warrant was issued and that was the last time I saw her.

“We spoke on the phone regularly and I spoke to her shortly before she passed away - she was still all there. Personally, I know she was delighted I managed to get through UCC and did everything I did there in terms of my law degrees and she was delighted about that.

“She understood why I couldn’t travel - we didn’t really talk about it but I would have thought that it probably caused her a lot of anguish to know the situation I was in and that I couldn’t travel to the UK to see her.”

Mr Bailey said he was in regular contact with his younger sister, Kay during his mother’s final days and he liaised closely with his sister to help arrange their mother’s funeral service which was of some comfort but he found the overall situation extremely difficult.

“ There were two things - one, I wasn’t able to get over to see her and then she died and I wasn’t even able to get over to the funeral - that’s sort of really personal and I’m only just coming to terms with it.

“ I don’t really know how to put it into words - it was difficult. It just strikes me, and this is purely personal and subjective, to me it seems to be a very cruel and callous by-product of what I would say was the abuse of legal process both here and in France.

“I wasn’t happy that I couldn’t travel but I just had to accept it - she had been getting weaker for a little while and she just quietly passed away - my only solace is that she was well cared for and she went peacefully.”