A WEST Cork garda has said he believes that there are still people with information on Sophie Toscan Du Plantier’s murder who haven’t yet spoken up.
The garda was addressing the media at a specially-convened press conference in Schull this lunchtime.
Sophie Toscan Du Plantier, a French native, bought a holiday home in Dunmanus in late 1993. She was brutally murdered outside that holiday home during a visit to the house, just before Christmas 1996.
The gardaí in Bantry, who addressed the media today, outlined how, on December 20th 1996, Sophie arrived into Ireland from France. She travelled first to Dublin Airport and then onto Cork Airport where her time of arrival was 2.30pm.
She hired a Silver Ford Fiesta Car 96 C 14459 and travelled to Mizen, where she stayed for the next few days.
The body of Madame Sophie Toscan Du Plantier was discovered near her home at 10am on the morning of Monday December 23rd 1996, now almost 26 years ago. Following a post-mortem examination on her body, a murder investigation was subsequently launched.
An Garda Síochána continues an open and active investigation into the murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier carried out by a dedicated investigation team based at Bantry Garda Station.
Supt Joseph Moore of Bantry Garda Station said today that he wants to speak to any person who met, spoke with, or had any interaction with Sophie from when she arrived in Ireland (both at Dublin and at Cork Airport) on December 20th 1996 until Sophie’s body was discovered.
‘I want to speak with any person who was in the Toormore area between December 20th and 23rd 1996 – in particular anyone who was driving on the R591 or R592. If you haven’t spoken to gardaí already, please make contact, we need to talk to you,’ said Supt Moore.
‘In particular,’ he added, ‘I want to establish the movements of Sophie between 4.30pm December 22nd and when her body was discovered. Any person who has knowledge of this period of time must come to An Garda Siochana and let us know exactly what happened at the home and grounds where Sophie lived during those hours on those dates.’
And he said he now believes that there are still people who have information on Sophie’s murder and who haven’t yet spoken to gardaí.
Alternatively, he added, they may have spoken to gardaí but were not [initially] in a position to tell everything that they know. ‘I am appealing to those persons, 26 years later, to please come forward and speak to the investigation team,’ he told the gathered media, including The Southern Star.
‘It is important to state that the primary focus of this investigation is the victim, Mde Sophie Toscan Du Plantier, her family and for the investigation team to gather all available information and evidence to bring this matter to a positive conclusion,’ Supt Moore said. ‘Sophie’s family still live in France and all of her siblings deserve to know what happened to their mother, daughter, wife, friend. Sophie has been denied the right to experience being a grandmother. Sophie deserves the truth behind her murder to be known.’
He urged anyone with information to contact the investigation team at Bantry Garda Station at 027 20860, their local Garda Station or the Garda confidential line at 1800 666 111.
‘I appeal to people who have information relative to Sophie’s murder not to assume we know and/or that it has limited value. Let us make that decision. I cannot reiterate that enough,’ he concluded.