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Ian Bailey will not attend special memorial concert for murder victim Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Cork

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Sophie Toscan du Plantier

Sophie Toscan du Plantier

Sophie Toscan du Plantier

Ian Bailey will not attend a special memorial concert for murder victim Sophie Toscan du Plantier in west Cork.

No ticket has been made available and there has been no approach from the man who has admitted he was the chief suspect for the notorious 1996 crime, which the Taoiseach has branded “a stain on Irish society”.

Mr Bailey, who did not respond to attempted contacts from Independent.ie, is barred from the Harbour Hotel in Schull, where the concert will take place tomorrow.

This ban arises from a separate nuisance said to have been caused on the premises, which the Irish Independent has seen referenced in emails.

Mr Bailey (65) was convicted of Ms Toscan du Plantier’s murder in France, a trial he did not attend. However, he has long protested his innocence with his solicitor – branding those proceedings a farce. Extradition has been refused by the Irish courts.

Mr Bailey, who styles himself a journalist and poet, now plans a three-part podcast to highlight his history and position on the case.

Ms Toscan du Plantier's uncle, Jean-Pierre Gazeau, flew into Ireland today to represent Sophie's family at the “Remember Me” concert, which has been organised on a not-for-profit basis by local people to show solidarity in their continued suffering.

Mr Gazeau brought special messages from Sophie's parents, Georges Bouniol (96) and his wife Marguerite (91), in which they thanked the community for its support as a full garda reinvestigation takes place aimed at submitting a new file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for consideration.

Mrs Bouniol tells the sell-out attendance: "We cannot be with you, but we are with you with the whole of our hearts."

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Her husband Georges, a former dentist, has sent a single sentence: "Sophie very much wanted to be Irish."

People are telling us they know who did it, and one name comes up all the time

Her body was found outside her holiday home at Toormore, West Cork, on the morning of Monday, December 23, 1996.

It was clad in a nightdress and boots and had suffered some 50 blows to the skull from a rock and a heavy concrete cavity block.

“We believe Sophie knew her killer, because she opened the door – even if she was probably carrying a little red hatchet for her own protection,” Mr Gazeau told the Irish Independent.

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Ian Bailey who was convicted in absentia of the murder of the French film producer, Sophie Toscan du Plantier pictured at his house outside Schull, Co Cork. Photo: Mark Condren

Ian Bailey who was convicted in absentia of the murder of the French film producer, Sophie Toscan du Plantier pictured at his house outside Schull, Co Cork. Photo: Mark Condren

Ian Bailey who was convicted in absentia of the murder of the French film producer, Sophie Toscan du Plantier pictured at his house outside Schull, Co Cork. Photo: Mark Condren

“She may have used it, because it has been missing since that night. It could have been the blow in self-defence that maddened her killer and caused him to kill her in a rage.”

He added: “We are still receiving messages and reports all the time from Ireland, with people getting in touch. Most often it is just to sympathise. For instance, this summer we received wristbands with Sophie’s name that someone had made for the family.

“People are telling us they know who did it, and one name comes up all the time. The family has to leave it to the garda, and we pass on anything that might be of help to them.

"They are in occasional touch with us to inform us of progress. We are optimistic and hope that the new investigation will bring results. Once more, as Pierre-Louis (Sophie’s son) did on The Late Late Show (in September 2021), we appeal for people to come forward.

"We know there are people out there who can help bring the murderer to justice, even after all this time. We know it, so please do it."

The concert features harpists, cellists, violinists and other instrumentalists, along with tenor and soprano arias. A mixture of classical, operatic and modern music loved by Sophie, it will be interspersed with poems, including by her favourite, William Butler Yeats.

A book was found at her bedside after he killing, open at the Yeats poem A Dream of Death

Mr Gazeau will address the gathering, which will include senior members of the garda re-investigation team.

A programme for the event features a diary entry by the victim that reads: "I really love this country... I feel at ease here. I would love to find a house and to stay there for a time."

The 17 listed performances will conclude with a rendition of the Edith Piaf classic, La Vie en Rose.


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