Ian Bailey has said he is "disappointed" after losing his High Court case for conspiracy against An Garda Síochána and the State.

An 11-member jury found that certain gardaí had not conspired to obtain statements from the witness Marie Farrell to implicate him in the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in 1996.

Mr Bailey had sued the Garda and the State for damages, saying he was wrongly arrested on suspicion of the murder of the French film producer in west Cork in 1996.

However, most of his claims were struck out in the closing stages of the case because the judge ruled they had not been made within the six-year time limit required by law.

His claim for conspiracy by certain gardaí was allowed to proceed.

Mr Bailey, 57, from the Prairie, Schull in west Cork sued the Garda Commissioner, Minister for Justice and the Attorney General for damages.

He told the High Court his life has been destroyed for the past 19 years because gardaí blamed him for a crime he did not commit.

Mr Bailey had originally sought damages for conspiracy, unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, assault, battery, trespass, intentional infliction of emotional and psychological damage and a breach of his constitutional rights.

However, the bulk of his claim was struck out in the closing stages of the case last week, a day after lawyers for gardaí and the State argued they had not been made within the six-year time limit required by law.

Longest running civil case before a jury comes to an end

Judge rules almost all of Bailey's case out of time

The judge said the application had been made at the very latest stage in the case by counsel for the State but said they were entitled to make the application.

Mr Justice Hedigan ruled the claims were statute barred as a matter of law.

However, he also said the claim for wrongful arrest would not have succeeded as it appeared from the evidence that gardaí had reason to suspect Mr Bailey and would have been derelict in their duty if they had not arrested him.

He also ruled that Mr Bailey could not pursue a claim for damages arising out of his arrest under a European Arrest Warrant as nothing unlawful had occurred during that process.

However, the judge ruled that his claim for conspiracy could continue and go before the jury.

He said the statements by Ms Farrell were still on file and still hanging over Mr Bailey in what gardaí had said was an ongoing investigation.

Therefore the existence of these statements, which the judge said gardaí had stood over in evidence, provided Mr Bailey with an ongoing cause of action.

The judge said it was appropriate that this part of the case be decided by a jury.

The questions the jury was given at the end of the case were:

Did gardaí Jim Fitzgerald, Kevin Kelleher and Jim Slattery or any combination of them conspire together to implicate Ian Bailey in the murder of Ms du Plantier, by obtaining statements  from Ms Farrell by threats, inducement or intimidation, which purportedly identified him as the man she saw near the scene of the murder at Cealfada Bridge in the early hours of the morning of 23 December 1996 when they knew they were false?

Did Gda Fitzgerald and Detective Sergeant Maurice Walsh conspire by threats, inducements or intimidation to get statements from Ms Farrell that Mr Bailey had intimidated her when they knew they were false?

After around two hours of deliberation, the jury returned and answered "no" to both questions.

The issue of costs has been adjourned to a later date.

The judge said a transcript of Ms Farrell's evidence will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. 

Judge Hedigan said over the whole case hung the shadow of the tragic and senseless killing of Ms Toscan du Plantier.

He said it was a source of dismay and anguish that her cruel killer has not been brought to justice.

He said her sad loss had been felt in Ireland and in France and he did not want people to think that she had been forgotten.

He offered the court's sincere condolences.

Mr Bailey's solicitor said they were disappointed with today's verdict and they needed time to consider.

In a statement outside the court, Frank Buttimer said Mr Bailey gave the case his best effort and thought he had sufficient evidence to sway the jury in his favour.

Mr Buttimer said Mr Bailey appreciated the jury gave their attention to the case and he had an appreciation for Irish legal system.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors has welcomed the jury’s decision in the High Court but the Association stressed that there are no winners.

AGSI Vice President Willie Gleeson says there is still an unsolved murder, which gardaí want to see solved.

He also said the case had taken a very long time and that it was very difficult for everybody involved including Ms Du Plantiers family, the gardaí and the witnesses involved.