| 5.3°C Dublin

Witness in Ian Bailey trial names a dead man after storming out


Marie Farrell

Marie Farrell

Marie Farrell

Marie Farrell


Marie Farrell

FORMER shopkeeper Marie Farrell resumed her evidence in journalist Ian Bailey's action yesterday afternoon having dramatically walked from the witness box and out of court.

She was told by Mr Justice John Hedigan at the end of yesterday's hearing "any further walkouts will be your last" and she was to "carefully consider" the manner in which she was giving her evidence. There are "very severe sanctions" for perjury, he said.

Ms Farrell had walked out of court about noon after refusing, despite repeated questions from State counsel Paul O'Higgins, to name a male friend whom she was with, unknown to her husband, on the night of December 22/23 1996 near Schull.

Ms Farrell has told the jury she was with her male friend in a car when they passed another man walking on the road near Schull about 2am that night, hours before the body of murder victim Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found near Toormore.

Her departure from court came after Mr Justice John Hedigan said this was one of the most serious cases to be heard for years and she must answer the question and name the man.


Ms Farrell stood up, picked up her coat and bag, saying: "I'm having nothing more to do with it."

She returned to court before lunch but did not resume her evidence till about 3pm.

At that point, Tom Creed SC, for Mr Bailey, asked if she could hand in the man's name but Mr Justice Hedigan said he could not permit that as this was a public trial and Ms Farrell had named others in a manner "extremely embarrassing to them and their families". She must give the name publicly, he directed.

Ms Farrell then named the man as John Reilly from Longford and said her mother had told her he died some years ago.

She was not sure what age he was, he was older than her, or where she met him, she answered in reply to questions from Mr O'Higgins.

When counsel said "so you stormed out of court because you might name a man who was dead for 14 years?", she replied she left because she had come voluntarily to tell the truth about matters involving the gardai but felt this was "turning into a personal assault".

When counsel suggested she was not telling the truth, she said she was and was "gaining nothing from being here only more personal aggravation".

Later during her cross-examination, Mr O'Higgins put to her she told a "bare-faced lie" to the jury in denying Mr Bailey had, during a visit to her shop in June 1997, shown her a notebook with her old London address, told her he knew she was in trouble with the Department of Social Services.

Counsel played a video recording of a May 2012 interview with Ms Farrell and members of the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) during which Ms Farrell said Mr Bailey had shown her a notebook with her London address and said he was an investigative journalist.

Ms Farrell said she was confused during the 2012 interview and her evidence in this case was the truth and Mr Bailey had not threatened her.

The cross-examination of Ms Farrell will resume today in the action by Mr Bailey against the Garda Commissioner and State over the investigation into the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier.