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Bailey says his life became "absolutely hell" in years after du Plantier death

The former journalist has given an interview to TV3 in which he claims that Gardaí told the local community that he was responsible for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier 15 years ago.

Bailey in an interview with Vincent Browne that will be broadcast tonight
Bailey in an interview with Vincent Browne that will be broadcast tonight
Image: Screengrab via TV3 News.

IAN BAILEY HAS said his life became “absolutely hell” in the ten years after he was accused of involvement in the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in 1996.

He was speaking on the day the Supreme Court overturned the High Court decision to extradite him to France to face questions over the murder 15 years ago as prosecutors there were seeking to do.

Bailey has always denied involvement in the death of French woman du Plantier who was found dead near her holiday home in west Cork in December 1996. He is currently taking legal action against the State for wrongful arrest.

In an interview with Tonight with Vincent Browne on TV3, the former journalist claims that a “small number” of Gardaí acted illegally in telling locals to say that he had been involved in the murder.

He said that a 2001 critique of the investigation by the Director of Public Prosecutions had said as much.

“[It] makes the point that members of An Garda Siochána went around the community telling people ‘have no doubt’, [saying] authoritatively, there is absolutely no question that I was somehow responsible for the murder of this lady and that put fear into a lot of people,” he said.

He claims that he never saw du Plantier: “I saw her once from a distance when I was working for a neighbour of hers” and said that he was never told why or how he might have been involved in her murder when he was arrested by Gardaí.

“There was no explanation of how or why or how I might have done this or why I might have done this,” he claimed. “All I had was 12 hours of total accusation: ‘You killed her, you did it, you did it, you did it’ and I had this repeated to me time and time again.”

He added: “The first ten years of this 15 year ordeal were absolutely hell”.

The interview will be broadcast in full on Tonight with Vincent Browne on TV3 at 11pm.

Earlier: Ian Bailey wins extradition appeal

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Hugh O'Connell

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