Sophie’s 65 years to be marked by Irish ‘wake’

September 5th, 2022 3:00 PM

By Jackie Keogh

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THE finishing touches are being put to a Schull concert – that has been likened to ‘a traditional Irish wake’ – in memory of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, to mark her 65th birthday.

Sophie (39) was murdered on December 23rd 1996 at her holiday home outside Schull.

The concert was originally scheduled to take place on July 28th  – the day the French film producer would have celebrated her 65th birthday – but with Schull crowded with holidaymakers during Calves Week, the four-person co-ordinating committee decided to hold a more reflective event, entitled ‘Remember Me’, at the Harbour View Hotel on September 23rd instead.

‘In a way Remember Me will be like a traditional Irish wake,’ said Bill Hogan, one of the organising committee. ‘It will be an opportunity for friends, family and neighbours to come together to show their respect and esteem for someone who was lost.’

The not-for-profit concert in music and words could, he added, be a show of solidarity and ‘create a space for healing as much as possible.’

Members of Sophie’s family – including her uncle Jean Pierre Gazeau, and possibly her son Pierre Louis Baudey-Vignaud – are expected to attend the event.Sophie’s elderly parents, Marguerite and Georges Bouniol, will send a statement that will be read during the concert.

Alternatively, a video of them speaking directly to the people of Schull – the people who have helped to keep the memory of their daughter alive – is also being considered as part of the production.

Jean Pierre Gazeau confirmed to the organisers that Sophie’s parents are ‘extremely heartened’ by the town’s plan. Tickets, at €20, are available at Courtyard Crafts, Worm Book Shop and MCS in Schull, and the artists performing include Liam Kenneally on fiddle, Mairead Casey on harp, Wendy Dwyer soprano, Ryan Morgan tenor, Antoinette Baker piano, Diana Llewellyn cello, Carol Daly violin, Pat Bracken and Gaelle Lacquement (both spoken word), with Daragh Murphy as sound engineer.

Speaking on behalf of the co-ordinating committee, which includes the musical co-ordinator Diana Llewellyn, Denis Quinlan and Len Lipitch, Bill Hogan said the event honouring the memory of the murdered film producer will be ‘a tribute long overdue.’

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