Ten people write to the State over Bailey case tapes

Ten people, including a retired detective garda, have written to the State concerning an application by Ian Bailey to inspect recordings of phone calls between various individuals, including journalists and gardaí, in Bandon Garda Station, the High Court has heard.

Ten people write to the State over Bailey case tapes

Mr Bailey wants to inspect the recordings and the transcripts of them as part of continuing preparations for his action for damages against the State arising from the conduct of the Garda investigation into the 1996 murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier in West Cork.

Retired detective garda Jim Fitzgerald, of Bandon, was represented yesterday by a solicitor and counsel when Mr Bailey’s application was mentioned by his counsel, Martin Giblin, before Mr Justice John Hedigan.

Mr Fitzgerald is among a number of people who have written to the State asking that, if the discovered communications relate to them in any way, they should be given prior notice of that before any permission is given to Mr Bailey to inspect them.

Paul O’Higgins, with Luán O Braonáin, for the State, said all the parties who had contacted the State would have to be given prior notice if they were affected by Mr Bailey’s application to inspect.

Mr Justice John Hedigan directed that such notice should be provided and listed the recordings application for hearing on May 26.

The court previously heard that there were 130 recordings of “differential quality”, including recordings of conversations between gardaí and journalists. Transcripts of those had been made.

A separate application by Mr Bailey’s lawyers for orders directing the Director of Public Prosecution to give them the names of three gardaí alleged to have asked a State solicitor to put pressure on a former DPP to prosecute Mr Bailey for the murder will be heard next week.

The three gardaí were referred to by former DPP Eamonn Barnes in a document expressing concern about aspects of the Garda investigation into the murder. That document was put before the Supreme Court in 2012 in extradition proceedings concerning Mr Bailey which culminated in a refusal to extradite him to France.

Mr Bailey has always denied any involvement in the murder. His civil action before a High Court judge and jury is unlikely to take place before late this year at the earliest.

His partner, Jules Thomas, has also sued for damages arising from her arrest during the murder probe.

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