French Ambassador to Ireland Vincent Guérend spoke for the first time about the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
peak on the Sunday independent This weekend, Mr Guérend said the Irish have a “specific fascination” with the case that has not been replicated in their native France.
The ambassador appointed by President Emmanuel Macron in September 2020 said “frankly” there is not as much interest in France as there is in Ireland in the unsolved murder of the 39-year-old mother-of-one.
“It’s not that she wasn’t well known in France, I remember myself when she died. I was about 25 years old and it was making headlines in the French news, but this case has received far less attention in France, apart from the fact that her husband, Mr Toscan du Plantier, passed away a few years ago,” he said.
“I don’t see why, just that there’s a lot less attention.”
Mr Guérend said that in France the murder – which took place on December 23, 1996 – is “regarded as a very, very old case and most young people would not know about it”, adding: “There seems to be a specific Irish fascination to deal with this case.”
He has not watched recent high-profile documentaries on the unsolved murder but said he can understand why Irish people are “very impatient” to uncover their killer’s identity.
As to why the case still touches so many people here 25 years on, he said: “Firstly, she was a young, very glamorous, good looking woman who was married to a French filmmaker and lived in a very beautiful part of Ireland, West Cork. So, first of all, it was her personal characteristics.
“Secondly, I think it was the whole crime scene – a beautiful place in the summer, but very spooky in the winter and early mornings, especially where her remains were found.
“Thirdly, I think the fact that all of this happened so tragically at Christmas resonated with people. Finally, I think it’s because it was so difficult to find out the truth. All the mystery around it, the fascination, unfortunately for her family, makes it a never-ending story.”
Asked if he was happy the cold case was resumed, Mr Guérend said he didn’t want to comment personally, but added: “We trust An Garda Síochána to do their job and if they see any hope that they can shed more light, then of course we’re more than willing to cooperate if there’s anything the French police can do. So let’s hope for the best.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/murder-of-sophie-toscan-du-plantier-holds-specific-irish-fascination-says-french-ambassador-41845652.html The murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier exerts a “specifically Irish fascination”, says the French ambassador