The Minister for Justice has said he will await a Garda report before commenting on allegations surrounding the investigation into the 1996 murder of French woman Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Assistant Commissioner Ray McAndrew has been appointed to inquire into the allegations that Marie Farrell, a key witness in the investigation, made false statements.

Speaking earlier on RTÉ Radio’s News At One, Mr Bailey's solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said the entire basis upon which Mr Bailey was arrested is now being denied by Ms Farrell.

Speaking in Carlow, Justice Minister Michael Mc Dowell said the first he heard of the new allegations was yesterday.

Donal Daly, Ms Farrell's solicitor, confirmed that Ms Farrell's position is that her statements, insofar as they implicate Mr Bailey regarding the du Plantier murder, are not true.

It is almost nine years since the body of the Frenchwoman was found outside her isolated holiday home in Schull in west Cork. She had been murdered in the early hours of the morning.

In the following investigation, a number of people were arrested but no one was charged.

Mr Bailey later took a libel action against a number of news organisations saying they had suggested he was the killer.

Earlier, the Department of Justice and Garda Headquarters  confirmed they received a letter from Mr Bailey’s legal advisors, but Garda Headquarters has stressed the du Plantier case is an ongoing criminal investigation.