Judge: Bailey case 'goes to matters at the heart of our democracy'

Judge: Bailey case 'goes to matters at the heart of our democracy'

The jury in Ian Bailey's High Court action could be sent out to consider a verdict today.

Mr Bailey is looking for damages over his alleged wrongful arrest as part of the investigation into the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

The former journalist claims members of An Garda Siochana conspired to obtain false statements placing him near the murder scene.

The jury also has to decide on his allegation that gardaí conspired to get false statements from Schull shopkeeper Marie Farrel that Ian Bailey intimidated her.

Lawyers for the Gardaí and the State have denied his claims during the 63 days of hearings, and the judge in the case is giving final legal directions to the jury today.

Mr Justice John Hedigan has told the jury to be dispassionate and keep their feet on the ground when deciding the case.

The High Court judge has also reminded members of the jury of the importance of the long-running case.

High Court reporter with the Irish Times, Mary Carolan, said: "The judge has told the jury on a number of occasions, when they were understandably a bit anxious about the length of time the case was taking, that the case was of enormous importance and of enormous public interest because it goes to matters at the heart of our democracy, the judge described it."

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