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Bailey outside court earlier this month.
West Cork

Ian Bailey: 'It's a slow dropping penny after a quarter century of torture and a false narrative about me'

Bailey has been reacting to the State’s decision not to appeal a ruling in his favour.

IAN BAILEY HAS said he thinks he will be “in a state of recovery for the rest of my life”, following yesterday’s decision by the State, which he described as “the end of a chapter more than the end of a book”. 

Yesterday, the State confirmed it would not be appealing the High Court’s decision which refused to surrender him to French authorities. 

In May 2019, the former journalist was convicted in his absence by the three-judge Cour d’Assises in Paris of the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Cork 24 years ago.  

Bailey denies any involvement in du Plantier’s death, he has twice been arrested here but never charged in relation to her death.

Speaking to Philip Boucher Hayes on Today on RTE Radio 1, Bailey said said doesn’t know if this was the end of the line for French authorities but admitted that yesterday’s decision was “significant”.  

“It’s the end of a chapter more that a book. Obviously the decision yesterday was significant, but obviously there are a lot of questions still unanswered,” he said. 

Last night, Bailey’s solicitor Frank Buttimer said that the latest development likely marked the end of the end of the French case. 

 ”In the absence of some extraordinary event… that’s the end of the extradition nightmare,” Buttimer said. 

Asked about whether he has yet to grasp the significance of yesterday’s decision, Bailey said it’s difficult for him to move on. 

I think the sinking in. It’s a slow dropping penny, after a quarter of a century in effect of torture and a false narrative being cast about me. I feel as though I’m in a state of sort of recovery. And I think I’m probably going to be in a state of recovery for the rest of my life.

A spokesman for the du Plantier family last night said they were surprised by the latest twist in the long-running saga.

Speaking about the family, Bailey said that he’s “very sympathetic” to them and that there are no winners in the case. 

“From my point of view I’m not viewing this as a victory because I don’t see it as that, there only losers in this, the French family, ourselves.”

I’m very sympathetic to them. I mean, what you have to remember is the French family were convinced right in the beginning that I had something to do with it. So I can understand their belief, if you like.

RTÉ Radio 1 / SoundCloud

Bailey had previously taken a case against the State and gardaí over his arrest for the murder of du Plantier. Bailey lost that case and was left with a legal bill that had been estimated at between €2 million to €5 million

Asked about this, Bailey said the total cost to him was: “I think €7.2 million, but you’re splitting hairs there”.

He said he “ekes out a living” at a farmers markets in Cork and did not know what would become of the legal bill he owes. 

“I’m very, very happy to live out West Cork I mean I just think it’s a wonderful, beautiful place in the world and the people are wonderful. One has to accept one’s fate,” Bailey said.

Asked about his plans for today, Bailey said:

“I’m going to clear out the little chickens here, they are about six or seven inches high. I’m going to be wood carving, gardening and gathering seaweed later on.”