Sophie du Plantier was not the Only Victim in 100 Years
This is about the definition of murder, and how short memories can be.
One of the many surprising pieces of information presented by various sources in connection with the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier is that there had not been a murder in West Cork for a century. Not since the political murder of revolutionary Michael Collins, they proudly state, has a body been found in West Cork. Not until 23rd December 1996. This is not true.
The killing of 44-year-old mother Julia O’Brien on Christmas Eve 1995, was almost a year to the day before Sophie du Plantier’s beaten body was found outside her cottage in West Cork. Julia lived in Drimoleague, just a half hour’s drive from Toormore where Sophie lived. It’s a small world.
You can read more about the tragic death of Julia O’Brien here. Julia was beaten to death by two of her own sons. They were not convicted of murder, but that is only a technicality. Anyone reading this story or hearing about it on the news would consider it to be murder in the sense that it was a violent, premature death caused by another person, or in this case, two people.
This is not a pedantic argument. There are two important points: as nobody was charged with killing Sophie Toscan du Plantier, she was not murdered in a technical or legal sense. Yet most people might say that Julia O’Brien was murdered, even though the courts have determined she was not. In the months since I wrote this article, I have tried to correct my wording to avoid this sort of confusion. If true crime is an area where minor details matter, then knowing the definition of murder (which changes around the world) is an important step.
The other important point is that the wider public have forgotten Julia O’Brien. This article helps to correct that injustice.