Garda inquiry to include du Plantier investigation

An inquiry into phone recordings at garda stations was widened to include the entire investigation into the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier following a written request from Ian Bailey to the Taoiseach.

Garda inquiry to include du Plantier investigation

He wrote to Enda Kenny on February 21 requesting an inquiry into how the case was handled, after the Taoiseach said anybody with knowledge of garda misconduct should come forward.

Mr Bailey’s letter, which was signed by him and his partner Jules Thomas, set out how they felt they’ve been the victims of Garda malpractice.

The couple said they were willing to co-operate “in any process to lift the dark stain and appalling vista which now sits like a black cloud besmirching the otherwise good name of An Garda Síochána”.

Mr Bailey received a reply last Thursday, assuring him his case would be under consideration in drawing up the terms of reference for the Commission of Inquiry being chaired by Justice Nial Fennelly.

The terms of reference were agreed by the Cabinet and published yesterday. The inquiry will look at a range of issues, including:

* The recordings of phone calls, other than 999 calls, at Garda stations dating back to 1980;

* The extent of knowledge of these calls at state bodies;

* Whether the recordings of calls between solicitors and suspects were “used for any purpose whatsoever” and if the office of the DPP made any use of the data.

The commission will look at all recordings in the possession of Bandon Garda Station relating to the investigation into the death of Ms du Plantier.

It will be tasked with establishing whether the recorded calls and “any other acts or events” reveal “any evidence of unlawful or improper conduct” by gardaí investigating the case.

A Government spokesperson said including this in the terms of reference was “entirely obvious” and “the correct thing to do”.

Mr Bailey and Ms Thomas are suing the State for wrongful arrest in the wake of the murder of Ms du Plantier in 1996.

The judge has been asked to report by the end of the year, but can be granted an extension if he believes one is required.

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