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'I lied to gardai about meeting musician,' admits Marie Farrell in court


Marie Farrell, pictured at the Four Courts

Marie Farrell, pictured at the Four Courts

Marie Farrell, pictured at the Four Courts

FORMER shopkeeper Marie Farrell has told the High Court she lied when she told gardai in 2002 that she was with a musician from Longford called Oliver Croghan hours before the body of murder victim Sophie Toscan du Plantier was discovered.

Ms Farrell, who last Friday told the High Court that she was with a dead man from Longford called John Reilly in the early hours of December 23rd 1996 - before the French filmmaker's body was found - has said that she lied to gardai when she said she was with Mr Croghan.

Ms Farrell was cautioned in May 2002 after naming Oliver Croghan as the man she was with on the night in question, the High Court has heard.

Today Ms Farrell denied a suggestion by Senior Counsel Paul O'Higgins, who is representing the State parties in former journalist Ian Bailey's civil action, that the late John Reilly is an invention.

"No, he is not," said Ms Farrell.When asked for more details about Mr Reilly including a description of the factory worker and the clothes he was wearing when she met him in the early hours of December 23rd, Ms Reilly said "If I knew any more I would tell you".

"I don't want to be here any longer than I have to," she told Mr O'Higgins.

Ms Farrell said that the late Mr Reilly had brown hair and was of medium build, but she can't remember what colour his eyes were.

Ms Farrell is under continuing cross-examination in the civil action, now in its seventh week, by Ian Bailey.

Mr Bailey was twice arrested but never charged in connection with the murder of Ms du Plantier.

The former freelance journalist is suing the State under a number of headings including wrongful arrest and conspiracy to manufacture evidence.

The State deny the claims.

The case continues before Judge Hedigan and a jury of eight men and four women.