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Sophie Toscan du Plantier documentaries tell two stories but there is one we will never hear

Louise O'Neill


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Victim: The two new documentaries about Sophie Toscan du Plantier point to different conclusions

Victim: The two new documentaries about Sophie Toscan du Plantier point to different conclusions

Ian Bailey in a scene from Sophie: A Murder in West Cork

Ian Bailey in a scene from Sophie: A Murder in West Cork

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Victim: The two new documentaries about Sophie Toscan du Plantier point to different conclusions

Since my novel After the Silence was published, I’ve been asked many times if the Sophie Toscan du Plantier case was an inspiration. I’ll admit, I’m fascinated by the story — how could I not be? I was a child when she was murdered near her west Cork holiday home that December night in 1996.

The following February, my family travelled to the west Cork village of Schull for the Meitheal festival, like we did every year. It was a weekend of jewellery-making and drama classes, of storytelling and music. One night, a tall, dark-haired man stood up in the pub to read his poetry aloud, and a suffocating silence followed. “That’s him,” someone whispered. “That’s the man who did it.” That was what everyone said at the time. Ian Bailey was guilty. He was the man who did it.


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