Gardaí have agreed to take a fresh look at the 1996 death of the Frenchwoman
By Emma Connolly and Brian Moore
A FULL review into the investigation of Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s 1996 murder is to be undertaken by An Garda Síochána.
It’s believed work is to begin straightaway by the Garda serious crime review team, following a review by the Assistant Garda Commissioner.
A statement released yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon said: ‘The Garda investigation into the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier has remained active and ongoing.
‘On the finalisation of this review, the serious crime review team will provide recommendations to the local investigation team.’
The moves follows a preliminary assessment last year into the gruesome murder, which looked at witness statements and is believed to have assessed if advancements in technology would benefit a full cold-case review.
No one has ever been charged in connection with the murder of the 39-year-old Frenchwoman at her holiday home in remote Toormore outside Schull on December 23rd 1996.
She died from multiple injuries, including laceration of the brain and a fracture of the skull, caused by a blunt instrument
A 2,000-page file on the murder was sent to the DPP in September 1997, but law officers within the DPP’s office were highly critical of aspects of the garda investigation. An inquiry was held and, in July 2008, the DPP concluded the evidence did not warrant a prosecution.
Former journalist Ian Bailey was twice arrested here in connection with the murder but never charged. He was convicted of the murder in absentia at a trial in Paris in May 2019.
Speaking to The Southern Star minutes after the statement was issued, Ian Bailey welcomed the news, but said he hadn’t expected to be hearing about it from the media.
‘I was surprised to hear about this review of the case from the media,’ he said. ‘I wrote to the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris over a year ago asking to have a full review of the case and I am happy that, it now appears, this will take place.’
And he added that he would be happy to give any help he could to the gardaí.
‘I will co-operate with any reasonable, objective investigation or inquiry into this case,’ he added.
On the 25th anniversary of Sophie’s death last year, her family and friends said they would continue to campaign for justice for her.
The murder has recently been the subject of both Netflix and Sky series, and a hugely popular audio podcast series simply entitled ‘West Cork’ introduced the quarter -of-a-century-old story to a global audience.