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Sophie’s friends rally ’round in her memory

December 20th, 2021 7:05 AM

By Jackie Keogh

The photograph, never-before published, which Sophie’s friends are using for the memorial.

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A PREVIOUSLY unpublished photograph of the late Sophie Toscan du Plantier was sent from France for a special memorial notice to mark her untimely death 25 years ago.

Jean Pierre Gazeau, the uncle of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, sent the image to her friends in Schull who wanted to observe the Irish tradition of placing a memorial notice in The Southern Star.

‘It is our way of asking the Irish people to emotionally adopt Sophie, and to take her to heart,’ said Bill Hogan on behalf of the group of friends, which includes Denis and Finola Quinlan, Sabine Lenz and Len Lipitch, Leo and Sally Bolger, Paula and John Collins, Alyn Fenn and Gene Reeves, and John Minihan. He said their actions were inspired by Sophie’s son Pierre Louis Baudey-Vignaud who said ‘her blood has gone into the land’, making Sophie a part of Ireland.

Bill Hogan said the previously unpublished photograph shows Sophie’s ‘vibrant and vivacious nature and highlights the fact that she was knocked down in the prime of her life’ aged 39 at her home in Toormore on December 23rd 1996.

He said he has made repeated requests for the murder investigation to be reopened, and he confirmed that he was interviewed by gardaí for three hours last month.

It is understood that the Garda Commissioner is to decide whether or not to order a full review of the Sophie Toscan du Plantier case in the New Year.

‘This is an unclosed chapter,’ said Bill, who is a supporter of the Association for the Truth of the Murder of Sophie Toscan de Plantier, which was established by her uncle.

It is understood Sophie’s son and members of her family and friends will be holding a private memorial service in Paris on December 23rd. The family have repeated their call for justice for Sophie and it is understood that the case has, over the last six months, been reviewed by senior detectives.

Ian Bailey, who was questioned in relation to the murder, has denied any involvement in her death.

And while Sophie’s family makes preparations for their memorial service, Ian Bailey recently posted a photograph online of a page in his diary featuring the words, ‘Christmas time… A nua begining …’ (sic).

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