Ten people contact State seeking advance notice of Bailey case phone calls disclosures

Friday 02 May 2014 21.07
High Court hears preparations for Ian Bailey's action for damages against the State
High Court hears preparations for Ian Bailey's action for damages against the State

The High Court has heard that ten people, including a retired detective garda, have sought advance notice of any disclosure of recorded phone calls which relate to them in Ian Bailey's legal action. 

It follows an application by Ian Bailey to inspect recordings of phone calls between various individuals, including journalists, and gardaí in Bandon Garda Station.

Mr Bailey wants to inspect the recordings themselves, to review transcripts of them.

This is part of continuing preparations for his action for damages against the State.

Mr Bailey is challenging the conduct of the Garda investigation into murder of French film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier in west Cork in 1996.

Retired Detective Garda Jim Fitzgerald, of Bandon, was represented by a solicitor and counsel today when Mr Bailey's application was mentioned by his lawyer 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 communications to be disclosed 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 SC 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 such notice should be provided.

He listed the recordings application for hearing on 26 May.

The court previously heard 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 DPP to given 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.

Three gardaí were referred to by former DPP Eamonn Barnes in a document expressing concern about aspects of the Garda investigation into the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier.

That document was put before the Supreme Court in 2012 in extradition proceedings concerning Mr Bailey which resulted in a refusal to extradite him to France.

Mr Bailey has always denied any involvement in the murder.

His civil action for wrongful arrest before a High Court judge and jury is set to be heard towards the end of this year.

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