Parents of slain Sophie on memorial trip
THE elderly parents of slain French mother-of-one Sophie Toscan du Plantier arrived in Ireland yesterday for a memorial visit.
Georges and Marguerite Bouniol declined to comment to the media on their arrival at Cork Airport in light of the ongoing Supreme Court extradition case over their daughter's killing.
"Thank you, it is nice to be here," Mr Bouniol told the Irish Independent.
The couple -- who will spend the next week in west Cork, before attending a special Mass for their daughter on Sunday -- were accompanied from Paris by Jean-Antoine and Marie-Paul Bloc of the Sophie Toscan du Plantier Truth Association, which was instrumental in persuading the French authorities to launch their own probe into the killing.
The Supreme Court last week reserved judgement on an extradition application from French magistrate Patrick Gachon. Former British freelance journalist Ian Bailey (54) has vehemently opposed the bid to extradite him and continues to protest his innocence in the matter.
Mr and Mrs Bouniol were met yesterday by the French consul in Cork, Francoise Letellier, and Chief Supt Liam Horgan.
The couple will attend Mass in Goleen next Sunday in their daughter's memory and will lay a wreath of white lilies at the stone Celtic cross that marks the spot in Toormore, Schull, in west Cork, where her body was found.
During their trip, the couple will stay at the holiday home in Toormore that was purchased by their daughter as her "dream home". It is now owned by Pierre-Louis Bauday, Ms Toscan Du Plantier's only child.
Ms Toscan Du Plantier (39) was discovered battered to death on the isolated laneway leading to her holiday home at 10am on December 23, 1996. Gardai never recovered a murder weapon, nor did they find forensic or DNA evidence to identify her killer.
No one has ever been charged.