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Sold-out podcast event closes Lit Fest

July 28th, 2018 2:09 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

Clonakilty author Louise O'Neill with journalist Sue Leonard during the West Cork Literary Festival. (Photo: Ben Russell)

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THE final event of the 2018 West Cork Literary Festival in Bantry last week appears to have been one of the most popular.

With a long waiting list for tickets for the sold-out interview with the makers of a Sophie Toscan du Plantier podcast, it was one of the most sought-after events for many years.

Sunday Times journalist Justine McCarthy was in conversation, at the Maritime Hotel, with UK journalists Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde.

The couple have produced one of the most listened-to true crime podcasts in recent years, on the Amazon platform Audible. ‘West Cork’ tells the complicated and long-running story of the investigation into the murder of the Frenchwoman in Schull in December 1996.

McCarthy probed the duo on their decision to make their first podcast on this Irish-French murder mystery and the various methods they pursued to get interviews with over 60 interested parties.

With self-confessed suspect Ian Bailey in the audience, the conversation did not stray into any controversial waters, but kept very close to the narrative of the 13-episode podcast, which Time magazine has named one of its 50 favourites.

However, the couple did reveal that they are planning to extend the podcast and are likely to reflect the upcoming murder trial which is likely to go ahead in France later this year, despite Ian Bailey’s absence.

They also revealed that they believe the case will, eventually, be solved, as there is more evidence that can be examined. They also referred to other theories and contentions about the case which has fascinated the public for two decades.

It rounded off a very successful festival which saw major names visiting the West Cork town over the duration of the ten-day literary extravaganza.

Writers including India Knight, John Banville, Catriona Perry, Zadie Smith, Alexandra Heminsley, Louise O’Neill and Sinead Morrissey drew large crowds and enthralled audiences.

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