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13th Sep 2021

Ian Bailey says he asks people to buy his poetry in exchange for selfies

Clara Kelly

“What I say to them is ‘you can have a selfie with me if you want, but it helps if you buy a book of poetry'”.

Ian Bailey has revealed that he sometimes asks people to buy books of his poetry in exchange for taking selfies with him.

Speaking to Colette Fitzpatrick during Monday night’s The Big Interview, Bailey said that he will often be approached by people in west Cork who will ask to take photographs with him.

“I have a lot of people who say ‘Ian could I get a selfie with you Ian?’,” he said.

“Because I live vicariously, in that some of my income that allows me to live comes from poetry – I’m a performance poet as I am a published poet – so what I say to them is ‘you can have a selfie with me if you want, but it helps if you buy a book of poetry’, so I’m using that.”

When asked by Fitzpatrick if he “likes the attention”, Bailey added: “I don’t know if I like it.

“It’s just something that goes with the turf at this stage.”

Bailey has maintained his innocence in regard to the murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan Du Plantier after first hitting headlines as a suspect in the case.

The brutal murder, which took place in the town of Schull in west Cork in 1996, triggered one of the biggest murder investigations Ireland had ever seen and became a national obsession.

Over the past quarter of a century, facts and information about the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier are still being released to the public, with most people in Ireland able to give a broad strokes retelling of the murder.

In 2019, a French Court found Bailey guilty of voluntary homicide, sentencing him to 25 years in prison.

Ireland didn’t extradite Bailey due to a Supreme Court ruling in 2012 that the Irish extraterritorial provision was not the equivalent of the French legislation and therefore they were not reciprocal.

Bailey was not present for the French trial after winning the legal battle against his extradition.