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Garda exposed himself to me in toilet, says Bailey witness

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Jules Thomas and Ian Bailey pictured arriving at the Four Courts yesterday(Thurs) morning for the fifth week of Ian Bailey's High Court action for damages

Jules Thomas and Ian Bailey pictured arriving at the Four Courts yesterday(Thurs) morning for the fifth week of Ian Bailey's High Court action for damages

Marie Farrell pictured arriving at the Four Courts early yesterday before she gave evidence during for the fifth week of a High Court action taken by Ian Bailey

Marie Farrell pictured arriving at the Four Courts early yesterday before she gave evidence during for the fifth week of a High Court action taken by Ian Bailey

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Jules Thomas and Ian Bailey pictured arriving at the Four Courts yesterday(Thurs) morning for the fifth week of Ian Bailey's High Court action for damages

A witness in Ian Bailey’s civil action has said a garda exposed himself to her before saying that “fitting up” the English journalist was a “real turn on”.

Marie Farrell said the incident happened when Det Sgt Maurice Walsh followed her into the toilets of the golf club in Schull in the summer of 1998.

She was giving continuing evidence in the High Court in Mr Bailey’s civil action against the Garda Commissioner and State over the investigation into the murder of French film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier near Schull in 1996. The defendants deny his claims.

Ms Farrell said she lied during the 2003 hearing of libel actions by Mr Bailey after gardai “told me to stick to the story”.

Those lies included claims she saw Mr Bailey at 2am near Schull on December 23, 1996, a few hours before the body of Ms Toscan du Plantier was found, and that she had been harassed by Mr Bailey on several occasions, she said.

She added that while she was working in Schull Golf Club in summer 1998, she and her husband and Sgt Walsh and his wife were having drinks at the bar at the end of a night. When she went to check the toilets she could see Sgt Walsh behind her.

He was intoxicated, got her up against the wall, tried to open her clothes, opened his own trousers and exposed himself, she said.

She said he said something along the lines of “what would you like to do with that?” and asked her: “Isn’t it a real turn-on fitting up the long black b******s or the English bastard or whatever they called Ian Bailey?”

She “just pushed him away”, said “for feck’s sake, Maurice, Pauline’s out there”, fixed her clothes and walked out.

Ms Farrell also said Det Gda Jim Fitzgerald asked her, and she agreed, to instruct a solicitor to write in July, 1997, to Mr Bailey, alleging that he was harassing her. None of that was true, she said.

She had not wanted to give evidence at the libel trial, but gardai put her under “huge pressure” to do so, and Supt Dermot Dwyer said that if she didn’t she would be brought to the court in handcuffs. 

Asked how she feels now, she said: “I can only apologise. I know I shouldn’t have done it.” 

After the libel actions, she said Det Fitzgerald told her it was “a good time to keep the pressure on” and to try to get enough on the file to have Mr Bailey charged.

She agreed to give an interview to journalist Michael Sheridan saying that Mr Bailey was still threatening her.

Det Fitzgerald told her she “owed” him because it was due to him introducing her to Senator Peter Callanan that her family had got a site from Cork County Council for a house, she said. 

In March, 2004, Ms Farrell   received a letter from Mr Bailey’s solicitors saying he denied her allegations of harassment and to cease making those. She instructed a solicitor to reply, refusing to give such an undertaking. 

After that, she rang Det Fitzgerald and said she was having “nothing more to do with this”.

She discussed the matter with her husband and others, and her children began to experience hassle from the gardai, she said.

In March, 2005, she told solicitor Frank Buttimer she had made false statements about his client.

When Supt Dwyer was about to retire, he referred to her having up to 15 unpaid fines totalling some €1,500 for speeding and insurance matters.

He said she should make some payments off of those and she paid off €300 over time, she said. 

Det Fitzgerald previously told her not to worry about the fines, she said. The case continues.

hnews@herald.ie


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