Monday 17 June 2019

Bailey 'would howl at the moon and had sat in a rocking chair on beach with 10 lesbians dancing around him'

Shopkeeper Marie Farrell signed 'blank pages' making garda witness statement after Sophie du Plantier murder, court hears

Marie Farrell pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday(Tues) after giving evidence during for the fifth week of a High Court action taken by Ian Bailey. Pic: Courts Collins
Marie Farrell pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday(Tues) after giving evidence during for the fifth week of a High Court action taken by Ian Bailey. Pic: Courts Collins
Sophie Toscan du Plantier
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

SHOPKEEPER Marie Farrell has told the High Court that she signed maybe up to eight "blank pages" when she attended a Garda station in County Cork to make a witness statement in the aftermath of the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Ms Farrell, who made a series of anonymous phone calls to the gardai after the December 1996 murder of the French film maker, said she had called gardai anonymously as she had "a personal difficulty" on the night she saw a man at Kealfadda Bridge, although she did not know it by that name at the time.

Ms Farrell explained that she was out for a drink with an old friend on the night she placed a man at Kealfadda Bridge and did not want her husband to know.

During one anonymous call, played before a jury of eight men and four women, Ms Farrell - then calling herself Fiona - told gardai: "I shouldn't have been where I was".

Ms Farrell said she called gardai from her own house phone following an RTE Crimeline programme which was broadcast on January 20, 1997 which appealed for a woman who had contacted gardai to come forward.

Ms Farrell claims that gardai told her they (the gardai) knew that it was Ian Bailey who was at Kealfadda Bridge.

Read more: Bailey case was like 'Miami Vice' - witness tells High Court

"Just say it was him that you saw, we know it was him," Ms Farrell said gardai told her.

In later evidence, Ms Farrell said gardai had also told her Mr Bailey was dangerous and strange.

She said they told her Mr Bailey would howl at the moon and had sat in a rocking chair on Barleycove beach with ten lesbians dancing around him. She believed what the gardai told her, she said.

Ms Farrell told the High Court she attended Ballydehob Garda station in February 14th, 1997 after gardai asked her to make a statement, having earlier been asked by gardai to make a two line statement to gardai.

Ms Farrell began her evidence yesterday afternoon in the civil action by journalist Ian Bailey against the Garda Commisioner and State who deny his claims, including of wrongful arrest arising from the investigation into the murder of Ms Toscan Du Plantier's.

Yesterday, Ms Farrell she saw a male stranger on a road between Goleen and Schull in west Cork some hours before the body of murder victim Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found near Toormore, Schull.

Read more: Bailey case told a male stranger on road before the body of Sophie Toscan du Plantier was discovered

Ms Farrell said she had seen the same man standing across the road from her shop in Schull the previous Saturday afternoon, December 21, 1996, when a woman she now knew was Ms Toscan Du Plantier was browsing inside. 

She did not know the man but he was "not Ian Bailey".

He "stood out as being a stranger", was slim, with sallow skin, about 5 foot 8 inches, and wore a beret and long black coat with silver buttons. 

Ms Toscan du Plantier left the shop and turned right and, a minute or two later,  the man crossed the road and walked in the same direction as her, she said.

She said she saw the man about 7am the next morning, December 22, walking out of Schull when she was driving from Schull into Cork.

She saw him a third time about 2am on December 23 when she was in a car being driven by a friend towards Schull from Goleen.

Read more: 'I was pretty disgusted with the behaviour, it was appalling' - Jules Thomas details partner Ian Bailey's abuse

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News