3 July 2021
By Roger L. Kennedy
Easy to find on Google Maps but perhaps it’s best not to visit there in person, out of respect for neighbours
Toormore, West of Schull town, is a scenic area. It’s a townland on the road from Schull to points West such as Goleen/Crookhaven/Barleycove. Unfortunately, the name ‘Toormore’ is now infamous for being the location of the 1996 violent murder of French citizen Sophie Tuscan du Plantier.
While that was 25 years ago, there has been a sudden international resurgence of interest in the crime now, in Summer 2021, because of the release of two documentaries on competing media platforms; namely Jim Sheridan’s “Murder At The Cottage: the search for justice for Sophie” on NowTV.com, and Netflix’s “Sophie: A Murder in West Cork”.
Now, a house in Toormore that shares a laneway with the Tuscan du Plantier house has been listed for sale. The 2-bedroom farmhouse style dwelling has gone on the market with an asking price of €250,000 (which is still less than what some watches sell for at auctions). The daft.ie Estate Agent listing describes it as a
“Traditional 2 bed farmhouse with outbuildings on c. 5 acre elevated mature plot. Offering enormous further potential the property requires some renovation and modernisation. Enjoying spectacular panoramic views to the Fastnet Rock the property is c. 1 mile north of Toormore on the scenic Mizen Head peninsula.”
It has a poor BER (Building Energy Rating) of G, which would be typical for an older property. (A modern house might boast an A2 rating).
Previously the location of the Tuscan du Plantier house was extremely difficult to find. Indeed, this is mentioned throughout the new documentaries, and led Gardai in 1996 to believe the killer must have been a local. However, now, in 2021 internet mapping is quite advanced and Google Maps easily shows the location of anywhere on the globe.
According to Eircode.ie the culdesac in which the house is located is known as:
DREENANETOORMOREGOLEENCO. CORKP81 Y364
There are now local fears in the area that dark tourism could lead to increased traffic on the narrow roads. Given that many people choose to live in remote areas for peace and quiet and fresh air, any extra traffic would be unwelcome. Any tourists who happens to be near the area should note there is nothing to actually see there apart from a small cross. Readers might prefer instead to visit more tourist-friendly areas such as Ballyrisode Beach which has a carpark or Crookhaven which has a pub and views or Barleycove Beach.
West Cork is a beautiful part of Ireland with lots of open air scenery to enjoy. Despite the 1996 murder it is a safe part of Ireland, and much of it is part of the Wild Atlantic Way driving route.