Monday 23 October 2017

Garda denies giving cannabis 'to loosen tongue of Bailey'

Ian Bailey leaving the High Court
Ian Bailey leaving the High Court
Jim Fitzgerald, a retired detective Garda, leaving the High Court

Tim Healy

A retired garda denied he gave cannabis to a man in the hope of getting Ian Bailey to "loosen his tongue" in relation to the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Former Detective Garda Jim Fitzgerald said another garda gave small amounts of cash and clothes on occasions to the man, who had told officers he was prepared to assist gardaí.

Mr Fitzgerald said he himself also gave some small cash sums to Martin Graham, who gave evidence earlier in the Bailey High Court case.

Mr Graham at one point said he would need €4,000 to get certain information but that was rejected "out of hand".

Mr Graham also gave gardaí a prescription bottle sticker with Mr Bailey's name on it. When told that was no use, Mr Graham replied: "You know what use you can make of it", he said.

He believed Mr Graham was inferring gardaí should put the sticker somewhere, such as the murder scene.

Mr Fitzgerald also said he was not in Skibbereen on May 13, 1997, when Mr Graham was photographed exiting a garda car with a plastic bag allegedly containing cannabis.

Around May 1997 he learned that Mr Graham was recording conversations with gardaí, and was suspicious he was trying to set gardaí up.

Mr Fitzgerald is giving evidence in the continuing civil action by Mr Bailey against the Garda Commissioner and State over the conduct of the investigation into the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier whose body was found near Toormore, Schull, on the morning of December 23, 1996.

The defendants deny all of the claims, including wrongful arrest and conspiracy.

Mr Fitzgerald denied he had told shopkeeper Marie Farrell on January 28, 1997, that they needed her to say Mr Bailey was the man she saw near Schull hours before the body was found.

He denied further claims by Ms Farrell she was asked at Ballydehob garda station on February 14, 1997, to sign blank pages of a statement.

Ms Farrell made a statement in which she said she saw Mr Bailey on the night of December 22/23, 1996 he said.

The case continues at the High Court.

Irish Independent

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