Ian Bailey has admitted that his situation is “perilous” after French authorities lodged an application for a fresh European arrest warrant in their latest bid to have him extradited to face a murder indictment linked to the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
Mr Bailey revealed that in addition to a preliminary court hearing this Monday on that new application for an arrest warrant, he will also be publishing a book of poetry, much of it written in the years just after he arrived in Ireland and before his “life was turned upside down” following Ms du Plantier’s death in 1997.
In a wide-ranging conversation Mr Bailey also said that the book includes a new poem he has dedicated to his solicitor, Frank Buttimer, and that he is working on a number of documentaries, including one with Oscar-nominated director Jim Sheridan.
He also said that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) expects to finalise its report shortly into complaints he lodged with it about how gardaí treated him in the course of the du Plantier investigation, and that on Tuesday week his appeal against the judge’s ruling in a civil action he brought will begin.
The latest attempt by the French authorities to have Mr Bailey extradited took the form of a fresh ex parte application made on March 7. Mr Bailey said this application was on the basis of the decision of the French authorities to charge him with Ms du Plantier’s murder, a decision already strongly criticised by Mr Bailey and Mr Buttimer as baseless.
See the application in full here:
It is understood that because he has already secured a Supreme Court judgment preventing a previous extradition attempt, the judge in the case asked for a hearing into the matter this Monday.
“I don’t do confidence, I do determination,” Mr Bailey said. “My situation is quite perilous.”
It comes as Mr Bailey plans to release a book of his poetry called The West Cork Way.
He hopes to make it available via Amazon and a local self-publishing venture in Skibbereen before Easter, and will this week launch a Fundit campaign aiming to raise €3,000.
Those pledging money can expect signed copies and signed prints of the illustration on the cover, a painting of the author by his partner Jules Thomas and entitled The Sunday Pint.
Mr Bailey said he had put together a collection of poems more than 20 years ago before “my life got turned upside down by events”.
He said so much of his written material was then taken by gardaí that he believed the poems had also been lost, only for him to find them by chance “in a book within a book” just before his 60th birthday last January.
“It was one of those very strange things that very rarely happen in life,” he said. “It was great, it was exciting.
“It is a bit like finding an old bottle of wine that is stashed away.”
Regarding the contents, he said: “They don’t touch on any of the crap that floated into my life from 1997 onwards.”
The poet has given the Irish Examiner permission to share one of his poem's with you. 'Erin's Herrings' was composed in Schull:
In November of each year
Herring shoals aplenty
Do flow up Erin's South West rugged coast
With coats of silver blue and
Eyes of red
Cead mille and a cead mille
Of herring fished from sea
And dumped down dead.
On the land an army
Of men and women
Wait to see the iasc
Off the boats
Into bins and
Down the hatches
Slit their throats
And process catches.
“Here they come boys
.....Stub out those fags
Stand back in awe and
Watch the slaughter” and
If the man from Tokio
Says 'Yes' to bellies full of gold
Then Christmas time will be less cold
Then Christmas time will be less cold.
But many is the day
When the gale ablows
And the fishing boat
She does not go
Some with famalies
To curse their dependence upon those shoals.
On those days in smokey huddles
Observe the herring boys and girls
Ease their troubles
Over pints of black beer
And the Paddy....oh wicked Paddy.
So we will wait another day
damning the lack of accursed pay
Hoping that tommorow will bring
A hundred million silver things
To keep us busy upon the land
Oh Great Captain
Would you lend a hand.
Citing Longfellow, Eliot and Kavanagh as his inspirations, he said the older poems had stood the test of time, focussing in some cases on locations or fragments of Irish life that no longer exist, while a new poem 60 Not Out is dedicated to Mr Buttimer.
Mr Bailey said he was working on a second book of poems that were more likely to touch on major events that have marked his life, but demurred on the idea of an autobiography, although he added: “Never say never.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved