'No stone will be left unturned' in du Plantier murder review — Taoiseach

'No stone will be left unturned' in du Plantier murder review — Taoiseach

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said there had been advances in technologies since the December 1996 murder and indicated this may assist in progressing the investigation.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said “no stone will be left unturned” in the new cold case review of the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder investigation to identify who killed her and to bring that person to justice.

Mr Martin said there had been advances in technologies since the December 1996 murder and indicated this may assist in progressing the investigation.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee said the cold case review had the intended purpose of ensuring the murderer of the 39-year-old mother is “brought to justice”.

The Taoiseach and the minister made the comments at the reopening, following significant redevelopment, of Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station in Dublin’s north inner city.

Last Wednesday, Garda HQ announced a “full review” of the murder had been ordered following an initial examination by the Garda Serious Crime Review Team, often referred to as the “cold case” unit.

The specialist national unit, comprising experienced detectives, conducted the preliminary review, including visits to West Cork, and came to the conclusion there were grounds for a full review.

The outgoing assistant commissioner for Organised and Serious Crime, John O’Driscoll, analysed their review and agreed.

Last Thursday, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said they had gone through an internal process before deciding to set up the full review: “We’ve decided that this is worth doing and it’s worth applying resources to this.” 

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin Minister at the official reopening Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station. Asked to comment about the review, he said this was not about optics and being seen to do something. Picture: Stephen Collins /Collins Photos
Taoiseach Micheál Martin Minister at the official reopening Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station. Asked to comment about the review, he said this was not about optics and being seen to do something. Picture: Stephen Collins /Collins Photos

Asked to comment about the review, the Taoiseach said this was not about optics and being seen to do something.

“Knowing the commissioner as I do and An Garda Síochána, this will be done professionally and obviously objectively and from a policing perspective,” he said.

And we do know with the advent of modern technologies that opportunities arose now, perhaps, that may not have been there at the time of the murder.” 

He added: “I do believe that no stone is left unturned in terms of finding out and ascertaining who murdered Sophie du Plantier and also to bring that person to justice.” 

Ms McEntee said: “[I would] reiterate the Taoiseach’s comments — no stone will be left unturned.” 

She said no cold case is opened with any intention other than to try and ascertain new evidence to try and make sure justice is served, adding: "In this instance, to make sure that the person who murdered Sophie Toscan du Plantier that they are brought to justice. 

"Every effort will be put behind this and the commissioner has assured me that he will.” 

The Serious Crime Review Team, headed by Detective Superintendent Des McTiernan, will conduct a root-and-branch review of the entire investigation, thought to run to at least 5,000 files.

The documents, which fill an entire room in a West Cork Garda station, have been digitised, which will assist the examination.

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