A West Cork community has criticized a surge in “murder tourism” after two documentaries were released about the 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Toormore.

The murder of Toscan du Plantier was the subject of a recent three-part Netflix documentary – “Sophie – A Murder in West Cork” – and a recent Sky production – “Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie”.

Both documentaries feature never-before-seen footage as well as interviews with prime suspect Ian Bailey, Toscan du Plantier’s family and a number of West Cork residents.

The two documentaries sparked wide public interest in the 25-year-old murder case, with the Netflix documentary instantly becoming the most popular title on the streaming platform.

However, West Cork locals have said they are appalled by reports that tourists have been seen taking selfies on a Celtic cross marking the spot where the body of Toscan du Plantier was discovered in 1996.

West Cork Senator Tim Lombard urged people to remember that Toscan du Plantier’s family are still mourning the loss of a loved one.

“It is obviously very, very worrying when someone treats the places associated with this horrific crime as some kind of attraction,” he said. he told the Irish Independent.

He said locals in West Cork remained very upset about the murder and urged tourists to visit other local attractions instead.

“There are more than enough great local attractions like the Wild Atlantic Way coast, walks, historic, cultural and historical centers without people turning places associated with this horrific crime into some kind of attraction – it is very much tasteless.”

Senator Lombard said he understands why people are intrigued by the case given recent documentation, but appeals to anyone visiting the area to behave with dignity.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found dead on 23 December 1996 from a path to her secluded holiday home in Toormore outside Schull.

She appeared to have fled from her killer before she was caught and beaten to death with a blunt instrument.

No one has ever been charged with her murder in Ireland, but Manchester-born journalist Ian Bailey has been arrested twice in connection with the crime.

Bailey was released without charge on both occasions and passionately declares his innocence. He says sinister attempts have been made to accuse him of murder.

The French authorities have unsuccessfully requested Bailey’s extradition to France to serve a 25-year sentence for the murder after a French court sentenced him in absentia in 2019.

Bailey, who had no legal counsel at the trial, described the trial as a “farce.”