Wednesday 11 December 2019

Ten people write to State on Ian Bailey application to inspect phone recordings

Letters request prior notice to be given before any inspection by Bailey

Ian Bailey
Ian Bailey

Ten people, including a retired Detective Garda, have written to the State concerning an application by Ian Bailey to inspect recordings of phone calls between various individuals, including journalists, and gardai in Bandon Garda Station, the High Court heard today.

Mr Bailey wants to inspect the recordings themselves, and transcripts of them, as part of continuing preparations for his action for damages against the State arising from the conduct of the Garda investigation into murder of French film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier in west Cork in 1996.

Retired Det Garda Jim Fitzgerald, of Bandon, was represented by a solicitor and counsel today when Mr Bailey's application was mentioned by his counsel, Martin Giblin SC, before Mr Justice John Hedigan.

Mr Fitzgerald is among a number of people who have written to the State asking that, if the discovered communications relate to them in any way, they should be given prior notice of that before any permission is given to Mr Bailey to inspect them.

Paul O'Higgins SC, with Luán O Braonáin SC, for the State, said all the parties who had contacted the State would have to be given prior notice if they were affected by Mr Bailey's application to inspect.

Mr Justice John Hedigan directed such notice should be provided and listed the recordings application for hearing on May 26th.

The court previously heard there were some 130 recordings of "differential quality", incouding recordings of conversations between gardai and journalists. Transcripts of those had been made.

A separate application by Mr Bailey's lawyers for orders directing the DPP to given them the names of three gardai alleged to have asked a State Solicitor to put pressure on a former DPP to prosecute Mr Bailey for the murder will be heard next week.

The three gardai were referred to by former DPP Eamonn Barnes in a document expressing concern about aspects of the Garda investigation into the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier. That document was put before the Supreme Court in 2012 in extradition proceedings concerning Mr Bailey which culminated in a refusal to extradite him to France.

Mr Bailey has always denied any involvement in the murder. His civil action before a High Court judge and jury is unlikely to take place before late this year at the earliest.

His partner Jules Thomas has also sued for damages arising from her arrest during the murder investigation.

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