THE Court of Appeal has overturned its decision to grant a retrial of part of Ian Bailey’s civil action for damages over the conduct of the Garda investigation into the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in 1996.
West Cork based journalist Bailey was for a number of years considered by An Garda Siochana to be the main suspect in the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Schull, West Cork.
Mr Bailey first brought libel cases against various media in 2003 for breaching his constitutional right to privacy, before initiating a civil action against the State for their conduct in the investigation in 2007.
He claimed that gardai disclosed information to the media from statements made by Marie Farrell, a key witness in the murder investigation.
After losing the initial civil action in 2015, Mr Bailey then appealed the decision, with the ground of appeal being whether or not the High Court trial judge erred in not allowing the jury decide if alleged leaking by gardai of confidential information to solicitors for media organisations breached Mr Bailey’s rights.
Now, the Court of Appeal has decided that the claim was not statute-barred and that there was no admissible evidence to support the claim of alleged wrongful disclosure of witness statements to the media and what was involved was “hearsay”.
The three-judge appeal court concluded that the decision was based on an error and the interests of justice required it to quash it.
There has been no comment yet from Ian Bailey’s lawyers as to whether or not they will appeal the decision.