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Ian Bailey's court case for alleged drug-driving is put back for 2 months

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Journalist Ian Bailey

Journalist Ian Bailey

Journalist Ian Bailey

Ian Bailey, who is fighting extradition to France over the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, has had a drug-driving charge against him adjourned for two months.

Four charges against the poet and journalist were listed before Bantry District Court yesterday arising from an alleged incident last August in west Cork.

Mr Bailey (62) will shortly fight an extradition hearing in the High Court, where French authorities have issued a European Arrest Warrant seeking his extradition to Paris.

He was convicted in absentia last year in France of the murder of film executive and mother-of-one Ms Toscan du Plantier (39) in west Cork in December 1996.

Mr Bailey, who described the Paris proceedings as "a farce" and "a show trial", has vehemently protested his innocence in relation to Ms du Plantier's death and claimed that attempts were made to frame him for the crime.

Drug-driving charges against him were listed before Bantry District Court for a second time yesterday.

The counts all arise from an alleged incident on August 25 last year outside Schull.

Mr Bailey was stopped by gardai while driving at Skull townland, outside Schull, and was later taken to Bantry Garda Station.

Failed

He was subsequently released without charge.

Mr Bailey issued a statement 24 hours after the incident.

"I can confirm that on Sunday evening last, I was stopped at a garda checkpoint outside Schull," he said.

"I failed a roadside breathalyser test. At that point, I was taken to Bantry Garda Station where I subsequently passed the electronic (alcohol) test. The treatment by gardai towards me was courteous at all times."

Mr Bailey faces one summons over allegedly driving while under the influence of cannabis, two summonses over the alleged possession of cannabis and one summons for allegedly allowing his vehicle to be used for the possession of cannabis.

Solicitor Ray Hennessy applied for the matter to be adjourned until June 11 when a hearing date will be sought.

However, because of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on court listings nationwide, the matter may not now be set for hearing until September.

Mr Bailey has lived in west Cork for almost 30 years.

He sued the State for wrongful arrest after claiming his life had been destroyed through his wrongful association with the du Plantier murder investigation.

He also lodged a complaint with the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission over his treatment by some gardai.

Ms Toscan du Plantier was found beaten to death by her holiday home outside Toormore on December 23, 1996.

Mr Bailey was arrested for questioning by gardai in 1997 and 1998 but was released without charge on both occasions.

The Director of Public Prosecutions later ruled out any prosecution in Ireland over Ms du Plantier's killing.