Sunday 21 January 2018

Garda denies shopkeeper was asked to name Ian Bailey

Tim Healy

A garda has denied shopkeeper Marie Farrell was asked to name Ian Bailey as the man she saw on the road near Schull, hours before the body of film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found.

Retired Detective Garda Jim Slattery also denied in the High Court Ms Farrell's claims she was told gardaí needed a statement.

He also denied she was asked to sign blank pages when she came to Ballydehob Garda Station on February 14, 1997, four days after Mr Bailey was released without charge.

He was asked about Ms Farrell's evidence that she was told all gardaí needed was a two-line statement to say she had seen Mr Bailey, that there would be no court case, and there was nothing to worry about. Mr Slattery said that never happened.

He agreed it was unusual no notes were made of a meeting on January 28, 1997, between Ms Farrell and gardaí at Garda Kevin Kelleher's house.

She asked that no notes be taken, and she had driven from the house, followed by a garda car, to the location where she said she saw a man on the night of December 22-23, 1996.

He and Detective Garda Jim Fitzgerald had on February 7, 1997, prepared a memo of that meeting following a request from the investigation incident room. That memo stated Ms Farrell had said she now knew the man she saw on the road near Schull was Ian Bailey.

He said no inducements were offered to her, and he had no recollection of Det Gda Fitzgerald referring to a summons concerning her husband.

He is giving evidence in the continuing 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 December 23, 1996.

The defendants deny all of Mr Bailey's claims, including wrongful arrest and conspiracy to manufacture evidence.

Earlier, Amanda Reid, known as Irune Reid, said she contacted gardaí after her teenage son Malachi said he had not told the gardaí everything about getting a lift with Mr Bailey the previous evening.

The jury was previously told Malachi, aged 14 in 1997, made a statement saying Mr Bailey was drunk when he gave him a lift and told him: "I went up there with a rock one night and bashed her f***ing brains in" and also said he did it to get a story for the newspapers.

Mr Bailey has denied he was drunk, and said what he had told the boy was that "they are saying" that he, Mr Bailey, had done those things.

The case continues.

Irish Independent

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