herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Bailey witness' exposure claim 'outrageous lie'

a FORMER senior garda has told the Ian Bailey High Court action that a claim by key witness Marie Farrell that he exposed himself to her was an "outrageous lie".

Retired Det Insp Maurice Walsh denied Ms Farrell's claim that he exposed himself in the toilets of Schull Golf Club some time in summer 1998 while asking her "wasn't it a thrill?" to be "fitting up" Mr Bailey.

Mr Walsh said there was "no truth whatsoever" to that "revolting" claim, which was "deeply upsetting" to himself and his family. The only truth was that he and his wife were in the golf club in summer 1998 with another couple.

bedroom

They were celebrating his promotion and the investigation into the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier was not to the forefront of his mind.

He denied several other claims by Ms Farrell, including that he went to her bedroom in a Dublin hotel on a later date.

He said he was based in Dublin at that time and Ms Farrell asked him to meet her for a drink.

He said he met her in the Hole in the Wall pub before returning her to the Ashling Hotel, but he had not gone to her bedroom.

Mr Walsh was giving evidence in the action by Mr Bailey against the Garda Commissioner and State over the conduct of the murder investigation.

Ms du Plantier's body was found near Toormore, Schull, Co Cork, on December 23, 1996.

The defendants deny all of Mr Bailey's claims, including of wrongful arrest and conspiracy.

The court heard yesterday on the 52nd day of the case that the State has 32 witnesses left and the evidence might conclude by early next month.

Mr Walsh, a detective sergeant in 1997, told Luan O Braonain, for the State, that he was unaware of any underhand arrangement or of any arrangement between Ms Farrell and Det Gda Jim Fitzgerald concerning the making of statements by Ms Farrell relating to the murder investigation.

Asked about Ms Farrell's suggestion that statements by her were part of a scheme between Mr Fitzgerald and himself to fit up Mr Bailey, he said he was unaware of any such scheme.

Ms Farrell's claim that he told her she would not have a peaceful day in Schull if she withdrew statements was "a complete fabrication".

He was alarmed when he learned of a suggestion that a witness in the investigation, Martin Graham, had been given drugs, cash and clothes by gardai in Bandon.

From denials by two detectives, and from other enquiries, he was satisfied gardai had not given Mr Graham drugs.

Earlier, Det Insp Kevin Gately said he was part of the team that in 2002 reviewed the du Plantier investigation. He said the team did not regard Ms Farrell as a credible witness.

The issue of her evidence over her alleged December 23 sighting of Mr Bailey was that she could not corroborate it.

While the review tried to get her to identify her male companion, she gave different names and that weakened her account, he said.

The case continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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