He says he’s heartbroken about the end of his 30-year relationship with Jules Thomas, but that doesn’t seem to have stopped Ian Bailey looking for a new love.
The 64-year-old’s profile has popped up in recent weeks on an online dating site where he styles himself as Ian Kenneth Bailey, a mature journalist and poet from West Cork looking for a special someone.
He outlines that he has a master’s degree from University College Cork. The self-confessed prime suspect in the murder of Frenchwoman Sophie Toscan du Plantier has paid for access to the site and contacted women on it asking to meet them.
His profile is accompanied by four pictures, three of which show him wearing a hat which partially obscures the face. The fourth picture is recognisably Mr Bailey.
When pressed about his quest to find new love, Mr Bailey said this weekend: ‘I don’t know, is that me? I have taken to social media over the past few weeks, having been a social media virgin previously. There’s some very strange stuff happening on there, very weird stuff is going on,’ he said.
‘I have to go now, I can’t talk, I’m meeting someone,’ he said before adding: ‘The number one priority for me at the moment is finding a home. I’m working on that today and tomorrow in fact.’
Earlier this year, Mr Bailey confirmed his ‘journey with Ms Thomas was over’ when approached at Skibbereen farmers’ market in west Cork. The break-up had been revealed when Ms Thomas, who was hospitalised after Mr Bailey beat her in 1996, confessed she’d had enough of him.
‘After 25 years I am sick and tired of banging on with this; it’s been just awful – all that stuff in print, the press attention, the photographers, everything.’ Last week she said that the decision to split with Mr Bailey was prompted in part by a desire to see more of her grandchildren.
‘While Ian was here I couldn’t see my three daughters and grandchildren. They refused to visit because they didn’t want to meet him. My daughters were absolutely thrilled when I finished with Ian.’ The artist said Mr Bailey still ‘comes and goes’, staying in her house outside Schull, but they are not on speaking terms and she has given him a deadline of July to get out of the house for good.
She claims to have offered to buy him a caravan as his efforts to rent accommodation around West Cork have so far failed. ‘I couldn’t kick him out while he had nowhere else to go. But there are signs he is trying to find somewhere and he has moved carloads of stuff out.’
Mr Bailey was recently seen several times at Skibbereen market in the company of a woman whom locals speculated may be his new partner. However, he subsequently introduced her as a journalist from overseas who was writing about him.
A new five-part documentary from the six-time Oscar award-nominated director Jim Sheridan about Ms Toscan du Plantier’s murder began on Sky Crime last week. Meanwhile, another new documentary, Sophie: A Murder in West Cork, airs on Netflix on June 30.