Saturday 17 March 2018

'I knew I was being stitched up' - Ian Bailey at launch of poetry collection at Electric Picnic

Ian Bailey
Ian Bailey
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Former journalist Ian Bailey was one of the guests at the Hot Press Chatroom at Electric Picnic.

Bailey, the key suspect in the murder of French film director Sophie Toscan du Plantier, read extracts of his poetry and discussed the impact the case has had on his life.

"I knew I was being stitched up and that's a very unusual situation to be in," he told the crowded tent.

Mr Bailey of the Prairie, Liscaha, Schull, west Cork, has long denied any involvement in the death of du Plantier.

When he was asked how he felt about the case "bringing down" then Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and the Garda Commissioner he replied: "Yes collateral damage I think that's called."

He said, excluding the help of Independent TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace, he had "not had much political support".

However, he said that the people of Cork have rallied around him.

"There has always been a chorus of people going back 20 years, people who believed that I had nothing to do with it and they have been great,"  he said.

"And more and more people are sending cards, best wishes and miracle medals."

Bailey runs a baked goods stall at various markets in west Cork where he also sells his book of poetry 'The West Cork Way'.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

He said that many people have approached him and offered him words of support.

"Two or three weeks ago a little old lady came up to me, Mary from the Lough (that's a famous area), and she said something very touching. She said 'I have been praying for you for years'. And that is amazing".

When asked about Judge Patrick Moran's comments that he was attracted to the limelight he said: "Well I don't want to use a bad word but that is a load of 'B' dot dot dot."

A documentary about the trial is in development and will eventually be screened on TV3, and the BBC.

"That's a long term project," said Mr Bailey.

"Jim Sheridan approached me during the civil case in Dublin a few years ago and he always knew he wanted to do something but didn't know what.

"And then Donal McIntyre – a well know international investigative journalist also approached me. I introduced them together and out of that has come the project which will eventually result in a documentary."

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