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Tuesday 17 September 2019

'I passed the electronic breathalyser test' - Ian Bailey issues statement on arrest as he's released without charge

Ian Bailey. Picture: Mark Condren
Ian Bailey. Picture: Mark Condren

Ralph Riegel

JOURNALIST Ian Bailey (62) confirmed that he was taken to a Cork garda station having failed a roadside breathalyser test only to subsequently pass an electronic sample test.

Mr Bailey issued a statement following media reports that he had been taken to Bantry Garda Station in west Cork on Sunday evening for suspected drink driving.

The Manchester-born journalist - who was prosecuted earlier this year by the French authorities over the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier (39) in December 1996 - said he had passed a follow-up electronic sample test.

"I can confirm that on Sunday evening last, I was stopped at a garda checkpoint outside Schull," he said.

"I failed a roadside breathalyser test."

"At that point, I was taken to Bantry Garda Station where I subsequently passed the electronic test.  The treatment by gardai

towards me was courteous at all times," he said.

Mr Bailey declined to comment further.

The incident occurred in Schull around 9pm on Sunday night.

Mr Bailey left Bantry Garda Station to return home around 10.30pm.

The journalist, poet and law graduate has lived in west Cork with his partner, Welsh artist Jules Thomas, for almost 30 years.

He sued the State for wrongful arrest after claiming his life had been destroyed through the wrongful association with the du Plantier murder investigation.

Mr Bailey insisted that "sinister attempts" were made to frame him for the crime.

The French mother of one was found beaten to death by her holiday home outside Toormore on December 23 1996.

Mr Bailey was arrested for questioning by Gardai in respect of their investigation in 1997 and 1998.

He was released without charge on both occasions.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) later ruled out any prosecution in Ireland over the killing.

However, following a lengthy investigation launched in France under Magistrate Patrick Gachon in 2007, Mr Bailey was tried in absentia before a Paris court last May.

He was convicted before the non-jury trial and sentenced to 25 years in prison for Ms du Plantier's killing.

The French have twice failed in attempts to have him extradited from Ireland under European Arrest Warrants.

Mr Bailey was also ordered by the Paris court to pay over €225,000 in compensation to Ms du Plantier's family and the French State.

He has consistently denied the charges, and did not attend the week-long trial.

Mr Bailey rejected the French prosecution as "farcical" and "a show trial."

He warned that he was convicted before the trial even opened.

The journalist previously confirmed he has "absolutely no intention" of paying anything on foot of the French court order.

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