Thursday 12 December 2019

Talk about Sophie death just my 'dry and black humour,' says Ian Bailey

Ian Bailey pictured arriving at the Four Courts
Ian Bailey pictured arriving at the Four Courts
Ian Bailey

Tim Healy

Journalist Ian Bailey has said alleged informal admissions by him regarding the killing of French film maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier were examples of "my dry and black humour".

They weren't intended as admissions and he was "unwisely trying to make light of the situation", he told the High Court.

"I have a very dry sense of humour, they were not actually admissions, they were examples of my dry and black humour," he told counsel Martin Giblin.

When he spoke to media after his arrest on February 10, 1997, he did so "to clear his name".

He had not put his name out there and said "the whole proposition he had anything to do with the killing was so absolutely preposterous that I chose to deal with it in this way".

Events since late 1996 impacted hugely on himself and partner Jules Thomas, he said.

He was being re-examined by Mr Giblin at the end of his 10 days in the witness box, mostly under cross-examination.


Mr Bailey has sued the Garda Commissioner and State who deny claims of alleged wrongful arrest and conspiracy arising from the investigation into the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier in 1996 in west Cork.

He also told the court he had a drink problem but attended 120 AA meetings over 90 days from September 2001 after he and Ms Thomas had parted.

She came back after he addressed the drinking. "I realise I was using alcohol to try and block out the awful reality, but as we know that doesn't work."

He agreed he kept notes and diaries during the 1990s to note his thoughts and events and for creative purposes. A lot of his writings should not be taken literally, he said. A reference in 1989 to "self-loathing" was part of his critical analysis and he was his own "hardest critic".

Asked about a reference to "foolish bowsie" in his diary, he said he thought "bowsie" featured in the song 'The Auld Triangle', and that entry indicated he was trying not to be that.

Another reference to an incident outside a bar on New Year's Eve 1993 in Schull, Cork, related to a young man who was "being a bit of a nuisance". "I didn't land a blow on him, I told him to go away and he did," he said. He agreed the DPP had decided there should be no prosecution.

Earlier, Mr Bailey told Luan O Braonaun, for the State, he was "deeply unhappy" about the State revealing his personal diaries and considered it an "absolute intrusion" on privacy.

Later yesterday, Ms Thomas began evidence. She agreed she was arrested on February 10, 1997, for the murder.

Her evidence continues next Tuesday.

Irish Independent

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