Ian Bailey living in a log cabin provided by Cork Council as emergency accommodation

Former journalist Ian Bailey has secured temporary emergency accommodation and lives in a log cabin in the seaside village of Glengarriff in West Cork.

he former main suspect in the murder of Frenchwoman Sophie Toscan du Plantier faced homelessness after her 30-year relationship with artist Jules Thomas broke off.

He had lived with Mrs Thomas at her home in Liscaha, near Schull, County Cork. However, Mr Bailey (64) has had to look for alternative accommodation after longtime partners have separated in recent months.

Mr Bailey has now been housed in a log cabin, designated by the council as emergency accommodation, and would be happy with his new accommodation. While living on his own, he spends a lot of time with his new girlfriend, Ethna Staunton, in her 40s, who lives in Mayo.

Regarding his new relationship, Mr Bailey told the Independent Sunday this weekend: “She is learned, spiritual, learned, cultured and beautiful.”

It is understood that Mrs Staunton is currently writing a book about the life of her new partner and is convinced of his innocence. She started writing to him recently before visiting him at the Schull Market, and their relationship has since blossomed.

Ms Staunton is a fashion enthusiast who has won numerous Best Dressed Ladies and Best Hats competitions at Irish Races including the Galway Races. She also studied theology and shares many of her new partner’s musical and cultural interests.

Mr Bailey wrote his own life story in a series of articles published by The big problem magazine. The third article is scheduled to appear on the online edition of the magazine from today. The series details her childhood in Britain before moving to Ireland and looks at her life since the unsolved murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier (39) in 1996.

Bailey has repeatedly denied any involvement in the murder of the mother of a child; he was arrested and questioned twice. The DPP has also twice ruled that he should not be charged in connection with the murder.

Although he was never charged in Ireland, he was tried and convicted of murder in absentia by a Paris court in 2019. Irish courts last year rejected a third attempt by French authorities to extradite him for this death.

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