Sheridan to focus on Sophie Toscan du Plantier's murder in new documentary

Sheridan to focus on Sophie Toscan du Plantier's murder in new documentary

Jim Sheridan in 2022 (photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images)

DUBLIN filmmaker and playwright Jim Sheridan remains optimistic in Paris that Sophie Toscan du Plantier's family will take part in his new documentary about the killing, with filming to begin in West Cork later this year

The Oscar-nominated Sheridan travelled to France in recent months and met with the family of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, reports Cork Beo.

Members of the family originally agreed to appear in his Sky TV series, Murder at the Cottage, but pulled out at the last minute after a disagreement over former main suspect Ian Bailey.

The family includes Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud, who was 15 years old when his mother was killed and still owns Sophie’s house at Toormore in West Cork.

Sheridan’s 90-minute production, filmed on location in West Cork, will have international interest.

Sophie's parents Georges Buoniol, 97 and Marguerite Bouniol, 92, and her son Pierre felt it was sympathetic towards Englishman Ian Bailey, the gardaí’s main suspect. He was found guilty of Sophie’s murder ib absentia by a Paris court. But Mr Bailey has always denied any involvement in the killing, and no forensic evidence or credible witness statements has ever implicated him. In paris he was convicted on circumstantial evidence and hearsay, none of which would have been admissible in an Irish or British court.p

About the latest documentary about the killing, Sheirdan said: "I met Sophie's family in Paris recently and hopefully they will take part in the movie. As far as I am concerned there is no chance he did it. There is no DNA against him, no blood, no evidence.

"The gardaí have his DNA and they have a blood sample found on Sophie's shoe. All they have to do is check Ian Bailey's DNA against it and it will exclude him.

"I would like the gardaí to use this sample to either rule in or eliminate certain possible suspects.

"I am going to start a Petition and ask the public to sign it calling on the Gardai to also do an ethnic breakdown on the blood sample and this will also help find the killer.

"All I want is to identify the real killer and finally get justice for Sophie,” as reported in the Irish Mirror and other press.

Gardaí continue to consider new evidence in the case of Sophie Toscan du Pantier, brutally beaten and murdered outside her West Cork cottage the day before Christmas Eve 1996.

Gardaí held a press conference in West Cork earlier this month where they appealed for information.

In June 2022 a special unit of An Garda Síochána opened a ‘cold case’ review of all the evidence and appealed to anyone holding information to come forward. A garda spokesperson said that perhaps in the original investigation these witnesses were constrained in some way, but with the passage of time they may feel free to give vital information.

According to reports, the guards are looking at details of ‘people of interest’, including one French-speaking person, seen in a Kerry pub the night after the killing. He reportedly had scratches on his face, and his description matches one given independently by another witness.