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Ian Bailey 'can't recall' writing note after press interviews, court hears

Ian Bailey

IAN Bailey has no recall of writing the words: "Back in print again, hip hip hooray" after doing newspaper interviews related to events surrounding the murder in west Cork of French film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Luán O Braonáin SC, for the State, said the note containing those words was dated June 30, 1997, shortly after Mr Bailey met Sunday Independent journalist Brighid McLaughlin in Schull, Cork, while she was researching a story arising from the December 1996 murder.

The writing in the note did not look like his and he had no recall of writing those words but he may have done so, Mr Bailey told the High Court.

He was under continuing cross-examination in his action against the gardai and the State for alleged wrongful arrest during the investigation into the murder. The defendants deny the claims.

Counsel also put to Mr Bailey it was incorrect to give the impression his second arrest on January 27, 1998, was solely on the basis of claims he had intimidated Marie Farrell, a local shopkeeper who had made statements to gardai.

Mr Bailey denies any intimidation of Ms Farrell and the jury has been told she will give evidence she was put under pressure by gardai to make statements concerning Mr Bailey which she later retracted.

Evidence

Yesterday, Mr Bailey agreed a main plank of his case is that his second arrest was mainly to do with the claims concerning Ms Farrell but said there were other planks. He had been chosen as a suspect and then gardai tried to find evidence to put him in the frame, he said.

He met Ms Farrell in her shop by arrangement on June 28, 1997, after she approached him days earlier, he said.

He may also have brought a poem he had written about two gardai but it was a "porkie pie" (a lie) to say he brought a piece of paper with Ms Farrell's address in London. He denied he was intoxicated.

Counsel put to Mr Bailey there were seven reasons for Mr Bailey's second arrest, including various statements by journalists, photographers and some local people, including statements alleging Mr Bailey told some persons he had killed Ms Toscan du Plantier.

Mr Bailey said he did not accept there was any legal basis for either his first arrest on February 10, 1997, or his second arrest on January 27.

During his second arrest, a persistent theme was Ms Farrell and whether he was near Kealfadda Bridge in the early hours of December 23, 1996, he said.

He denied it may have appeared to gardai from various matters he had information concerning the murder that nobody else had and said he had no such information.

He could not understand why a number of people made certain statements except they may have been "suggestible". One of those who had provided statements, Bill Fuller, was a "sometime agent" whose statements should be rejected, he said.

Counsel read Garda memos of five interviews between Mr Bailey and gardai during his second arrest and Mr Bailey agreed the notes indicated the interviews ranged over several issues, including his knowledge of Ms Toscan du Plantier, statements by various journalists, photographers and local people and his movements on the night of December 22/23, 1996.

Issues

The interviews also included repeated insistence by Mr Bailey he had nothing to do with the murder.

During the proceedings, Mr Justice John Hedigan stressed the issue for the jury to decide is not whether Mr Bailey killed Ms Toscan du Plantier or the various statements made by him and other parties are true or not.

The State's defence includes a plea there were reasonable grounds for gardai to question and arrest Mr Bailey and that was why these matters were being put to him, the judge said.

hnews@herald.ie


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