Sophie du Plantier murder - key dates

  • 19 October 2005
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› 21 December1997: Marie Farrell saw a suspicious looking person in Schull around 3pm. Sophie du Plantier called on Marie Farrell's clothes shop that afternoon in Schull. The women did not know each other.

› 22 December 1997: Marie Farrell saw the suspicious person she had seen earlier in Schull near the scene where Sophie du Plantier would be murdered later that day or early the following morning.

› 22/23 December 1996: Sophie Toscan du Plantier murdered.

› 22/23 December 1996: Marie Farrell met a former boyfriend and travelled around the Schull/Goleen area with him during the late hours of 22 December and early hours of 23 December. Around 3am Marie Farrell saw a man resembling the person she had seen in Schull on the Saturday and on the road early on 22 December.

› 27 December 1997: Marie Farrell made her first statement, saying she had seen a suspicious person, 5 foot 10 inches tall, near his shop in Schull on Saturday, 21 December 1996 and had seen the same person early on the morning of 22 December 1996, near where the murder took place later. She made no mention then of seeing who she thought was the same person at 3am on the morning of 23 December.

› 29 December 1997: Marie Farrell was given a video tape of Ian Bailey at a recent function and fails to identify him as the person she had seen in Schull on Saturday, 21 December or on the morning of 22 December.

› 10/11 January 1997: Marie Farrell made an anonymous phone call to a Garda confidential line saying she saw a suspicious person in the vicinity of the murder scene at 3am on 23 December.

› 17/18 January 1997: Marie Farrell made a second anonymous phone call to the Garda confidential line, responding to a request broadcast on the RTÉ Crimeline programme, repeating what she had said previously and stating she was unwilling to give this information in person.

› 21 January 1998: Gardaí called on Marie Farrell and told here they knew she was the person who had made the anonymous calls to the confidential phone line and pressurised her to state in person what she had stated on the confidential line.

› 22 January 1997: Marie Farrell made statement saying the person she had seen at Schull on 21 December was "very tall".

› 28 January 1997: Marie Farrell in an interview with gardaí "identifies" Ian Bailey as a person she saw on 21 and 22 December and also at 3am on December 23 near the scene of Sophie du Plantier's murder.

› 10 February 1997: Ian Bailey arrested.

› 22 February 1997: Marie Farrell made a further "clarificatory" statement, again clearly "identifying" Ian Bailey.

› December 2003: Marie Farrell gave evidence at a libel trial, instigated by Ian Bailey against eight newspapers, again claiming she saw Ian Bailey.

› 18 April 2005: Marie Farrell made contact "out of the blue" with Frank Buttimer, solicitor for Ian Bailey, acknowledging that she had falsely identified Ian Bailey as the person she saw near the scene of the murder around the time of the murder.

› 11 October 2005: Frank Buttimer's wrote to Michael McDowell, copying his letter the Garda Commissioner, informing him that Marie Farrell had withdrawn her "identification".