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An Garda Síochána Public Appeal for Information and Media Briefing, Murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier – Schull, 12th December 2022

Issue Date: 12th December 2022

Sophie Toscan Du Plantier was born on the 28/7/57 in Paris France.

She bought a holiday home in Dunmanus West, Toormore, Cork in late 1993. She visited this home with her family on numerous occasions between 1993 and 1996.

On the 20th of December 1996 Sophie arrived into Ireland from France. She travelled first to Dublin airport and then onto Cork Airport where her time of arrival is seen as 2.30pm.

She hired a Silver Ford Fiesta Car 96 C 14459 and travelled to the Mizen Peninsula.  She stayed around the Mizen Peninsula for the next few days.  

The body of Madame Sophie Toscan Du Plantier was discovered near to her home at 10am approx. on the morning of Monday the 23rd of December 1996, now almost 26 years ago. Following a Post-mortem examination on her body, a Murder Investigation was subsequently launched.

An Garda Síochána continues an open and active investigation into the murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier carried out by a dedicated investigation team based at Bantry Garda Station.

Today Monday 12th December 2022 Superintendent Joseph Moore, Bantry Garda Station has made the following public appeal for information

I want to speak to any person who met, spoke with or had any interaction with Sophie from when she arrived in Ireland (both at Dublin and at Cork Airport) on the 20 December 1996 until Sophie’s body was discovered at 10am on the morning of the 23rd December 1996.

I want to speak with any person who was in the Toormore area of County Cork between 20th December and 23rd December 1996, in particular anyone who was driving on the R591 or R592.  If you haven’t spoken to Gardaí already, please make contact, we need to talk to you.

In particular I want to establish the movements of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier between 4.30pm on the 22nd of December 1996 and when her body was discovered on the morning of the 23rd of December 1996 at 10am. Any person who has knowledge of this period of time must come to An Garda Siochana and let us know exactly what happened at the home and grounds where Sophie lived during those hours on those dates.

Speaking today Superintendent Moore said

"I believe that there are still persons, who have information on Sophie’s murder and who haven’t yet spoken to Gardaí, or may have spoken to Gardaí but were not in a position to tell everything that they know; I am appealing to those persons, 26 years later, to please come forward and speak to the investigation team. 

It is important to state that the primary focus of this investigation is the victim, Mde Sophie Toscan Du Plantier, her family and for the Investigation Team to gather all available information/evidence to bring this matter to a positive conclusion.

Sophie’s family still live in France and all of her siblings deserve to know what happened to their mother, daughter, wife, friend. Sophie has been denied the right to experience being a grandmother. Sophie deserves the truth behind her murder to be known.”

Concluding Superintendent Moore appealed

"I would urge person(s) with information in relation to the Murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier to please come forward to either the investigation team at Bantry Garda Station at 02720860, your local Garda Station or the Garda Confidential telephone line 1800 666 111.

I appeal to people who have information relative to Sophie’s murder not to assume we know and/or that it has limited value.  Let us make that decision.  I cannot reiterate that enough.”