Ian Bailey to launch poetry collection at Electric Picnic

‘The West Cork Way’ consists of a series of poems reflecting on life in southern Ireland

Ian Bailey is to launch his first collection of poetry at this weekend's Electric Picnic just weeks after avoiding extradition to France to go on trial over the death of French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Music magazine Hotpress will host the launch of The West Cork Way by the Cork-based English journalist on Saturday afternoon. Mr Bailey gave an interview to the magazine earlier this year about his legal battle to avoid extradition.

Last month Mr Justice Tony Hunt ruled in the High Court that Mr Bailey should not be extradited to France on a European Arrest Warrant to answer a charge of voluntary homicide over the death of Ms Toscan du Plantier at her holiday home in west Cork in December 1996.

Mr Bailey said his collection of poetry consists of a number of poems he wrote following his arrival in Ireland in 1991 up until 1996 as well some more recent poems in which he reflects on life in west Cork.


"The West Cork Way is an eclectic collection of 30 poems, odes and ballads, partly autobiographical, with footnotes to explain how the poem came to be born," said Mr Bailey who lives with his partner Jules Thomas outside Schull.

“The title comes from a short poem about the way people in wild west Cork, many of them ‘blow ins’, like me, and many of them ex-pat British subjects, like me, eke out a living by doing a variety of tasks and seasonal jobs,” he added.

‘Struggle and strife’

"The poems cover a range of topics - love and life, struggle and strife, the now collapsed herring fishing industry, the growing of barley and the struggle between the preachans, crows on a farm near Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford where 'they hired me as a human scare crow.'"

Mr Bailey also revealed that his currently working on a second collection called The Peninsula Poems which will "take the form of a poetic journey from Sherkin Island and Baltimore along the Mizen Peninsula and then the Sheep's Head Peninsula and Beara Peninsula".

He said he was also working on a one man show that will take the form of “performance poetry, storytelling and music.”

Mr Bailey was twice arrested by gardai for questioning about the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier (39) whose badly beaten body was found outside her holiday home at Drinane, Toormore on the morning of December 23rd, 1996.

However, he was released without charge on both occasions and he has denied any involvement in her death as well as making admissions to a number of people that he killed the French woman.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times