133 conversations in du Plantier case recorded

Thursday 03 April 2014 21.47
Sophie Toscan du Plantier was killed in December 1996 in west Cork
Sophie Toscan du Plantier was killed in December 1996 in west Cork

More than 130 separate tape-recorded conversations have emerged between gardaí, witnesses and journalists relating exclusively to the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder case, RTÉ's This Week has learned.

Senior gardaí drew up a list of the recordings in recent days.

That list has now been circulated to all the parties in a legal action being taken against the gardaí and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter by Englishman Ian Bailey.

Mr Bailey claims he was wrongly targeted by gardaí investigating the Frenchwoman's killing.

The number of secretly recorded conversations reaches 133 in total, and dates from January 1997 onwards.

Thirty-six of the recordings relate to conversations between a garda and Marie Farrell, RTÉ's This Week has learned.

Ms Farrell claimed she saw a man near the murder scene, at Toormore in west Cork, where Ms du Plantier was killed in December 1996.

Ms Farrell identified that man as Mr Bailey, but later said she felt under pressure from gardaí to target him wrongly.

Another 18 of the recorded conversations are between gardaí and another witness, former British soldier Martin Graham.

A number of these have already been included in an earlier discovery order, but at least ten new recordings between Mr Graham and gardaí have been discovered.

Mr Graham has alleged that he was offered drugs, cash and other items by gardaí in a bid to obtain information against Mr Bailey.

Another 42 of the tapes relate to conversations between gardaí and journalists.

Sources told RTÉ's This Week that many of those recorded in the tapes were well-known journalists in many cases.

Meanwhile, a further 37 of the recordings related exclusively to phone calls between gardaí and other members of the force, including senior garda officers.

It is also understood that there is at least one recorded conference call between local gardaí and senior gardaí in Dublin.

The recordings were discovered in Bandon Garda Station last autumn during a search of the premises for any material of relevance to a discovery order made by lawyers for Mr Bailey.

The case is due for mention in the High Court tomorrow.