Monday, 12 March 2012

"Was Madeleine Abducted?"

"Was Madeleine abducted?

Four years after she disappeared in Portugal, Madeleine McCann has not been found.

Kate McCann has written her account of her daughter’s disappearance and the  aftermath
By Enid O’Dowd

You’re meeting seven neighbours,

with eight children under

four between you, in one of

Ranelagh’s many restaurants,

only 120 metres or so from your

homes which you can’t see from

the restaurant; what do you do

about childcare?

That was the ‘almost’ equivalent

dilemma faced by Kate and Gerry

McCann and their friends on their

holiday in Praia da Luz in May

2007 – except they were not on

their home patch as you were

in Ranelagh. The group, which

became known as the Tapas nine

and six of whom were doctors,

decided to make 30 minute

checks. This system, Kate claims,

had worked on previous evenings

but when she checked at 10 pm

on Thursday May 3rd, Madeleine

was not there and, despite an

international search involving the

Portuguese and UK police and

private detectives, she has still not

been found.

Last month Kate McCann published

“Madeleine - our daughter’s

disappearance and the

continuing search for her”. In the

foreword of the book she states

that her “reason for writing the

book is to give an account of the

truth”. Isn’t that odd phraseology

- surely there can only be one version

of the truth?
All kinds of tales

have circulated about Madeleine’s

disappearance according to Kate,

and indeed they have; the publication

of this “truthful” book seems

to have accelerated the internet

debates on the discrepancies in the

McCanns’ story.

The book is actually the story of

Kate’s life to date. It covers her

childhood, her education, her

meeting and marriage to Gerry

McCann and the births of their

three children. The McCanns

needed a series of IVF treatments

to become parents which makes it

all the more odd that they would

leave three children under four

in an unlocked apartment on the

ground floor in a foreign country.

According to Kate, all three

children were good sleepers. She

did not want to use the evening

crèche provided by the holiday

company; understandable as her

children had a routine and were in

bed by the time the crèche opened

at 7.30 pm.

She argues on p. 54 that it would

have been unwise to leave the

children with someone neither

they nor themselves knew. Yet

her children were happy in the

day childcare facilities and had

come to know the staff who were

available, at extra cost, to babysit

for clients in the evening.

She states “we felt so secure we

simply didn’t think it was necessary

(to hire a babysitter) and our

own apartment was only 30-45

seconds away”.

An astonishing statement.

Surely security concerns are not

the main reason parents organise

babysitters? As a GP, she more

than anyone, would appreciate

that the risks of leaving children

alone at night do not relate to

“security” but to other factors, like

vomiting and choking, waking up

from a nightmare, wetting the bed,

and febrile convulsions which

affect one in twenty children

under five.

Kate does not mention a witness

statement by Pamela Fenn who

lived in the apartment above stating

that she heard a child crying

for 75 minutes on Tuesday May

1st calling for “daddy”. This

contradicts Kate’s statement of 30

minute checks.

The book cover proclaims that all

royalties are donated to the Madeleine

Fund. A company called

Madeleine Fund: Leaving No

Stone Unturned Ltd was incorporated

on 15 May 2007. According

to Kate, over the weekend of 11th,

12th and 13th May she and Gerry

had meetings in Praia da Luz with

a paralegal from the International

Family Law Group and a barrister.

The barrister told them

“our behaviour (in leaving the

children unattended) could not be

deemed negligent” and was “well

within the bounds of reasonable


The legal pair suggested the

McCanns use London solicitors

Bates Wells and Braithwaite to

set up a company to manage the

funds that would be donated. On

p.137 she records that this firm

drew up articles of association for

the fighting fund (limited com

and talked to the Charity

Commission who ruled that the

proposed company did not meet

the requirements for charity status

as it focussed on one child and did

not meet the public benefit test.

Hence Kate says, the decision was

that “it would be a ‘not for profit’

private limited company. It was

set up with great care and due

diligence by experts in the field”.

From the dates Kate gives, it

would appear that Bates Wells and

Braithwaite could not have had

instructions to act until Monday

May 14th, yet they were able to

incorporate the company the very

next day.

A day is very little time for the

solicitors to have drafted company

documents for this proposed

company which was not an

ordinary trading company, to have

agreed the documents with their

clients the McCanns who were in

Portugal and also to have obtained

a ruling from the Charity Commission.

And what was the hurry given

that Madeleine could have been

found at this early stage of the


On p.138 Kate says “everyone

agreed that despite the costs

involved it (the company) must

be run to the highest standards of


To date, three sets of accounts

have been filed with the UK

Company’s office. In the first set

going to March 2008 an analysis

of expenditure is given though

this is not a statutory requirement

under UK law. However the

accounts filed for the years to

March 2009 and to March 2010

give no expenditure analysis.

Now this is perfectly legal but not

the “transparency” to which Kate

referred. In 2009 for example

the only expenditure information

filed gives the merchandising and

campaign costs as £974,786 and

the administration expenses as

£30,865. Not very informative!

When the McCanns were made

arguidos (suspects) in September

2007 Kate refused on legal advice

to answer the 48 questions put

to her. This was her legal right

but the refusal fuelled the doubts

about her story. It is understandable

why she might not want to

answer questions in a foreign

country with the possibility of

mistranslations complicating her

difficult situation but surely there

is no reason now not to put the

record straight by answering the

questions in her book. She doesn’t

do so.

British sniffer dogs Eddie and

Keela and their handler Martin

Grime were used by the Portuguese

authorities. These dogs had

a 100% accuracy rate in 200 cases

and found both blood and cadaver

(dead body) traces in various

places in the holiday apartment

and in the boot of the car rented

after the disappearance. Kate says

that research Gerry conducted after

the Portuguese police showed

them the video of the dogs’ search

revealed that dog evidence is

unreliable. She quotes Gerry as

dismissing the sniffer dog video

as “the most subjective piece of

Lucinda Creighton encourages

Local Young Entrepreneurs to

Submit Ideas to Minister for

Children and Youth Affairs to

win research grant of €15,000

and week shadowing top Irish


Lucinda Creighton TD has urged

local entrepreneurs between the

ages of 15 and 22 to submit their

ideas on job creation to the Minister

for Children and Youth Affairs.

“The Department of Children

and Youth Affairs is organising

a nationwide campaign offering

young people with ideas on job

creation the opportunity to put

their proposals to the new Government,”

“This is a great initiative and I

urge any local young person to

get involved in this competition.

It would be fantastic to have local

participation in this programme

which offers some exciting

rewards for winning proposals.

Entries are being evaluated by

leading Irish business people and


The competition is being

organised in conjunction with

TV3’s “Every Job Counts” campaign

and in line with the Government’s

focus on job creation.

The young people behind the

top proposals will be given the

opportunity to shadow a leading

business person and the overall

winner will receive a research

grant of up to €15,000.

“Young people, like so many in

our community, are worried about

the recession, about their parents

employment and about their

own future employment. Many

of them have huge energy and

ideas for economic development

and this initiative will help them

structure those ideas into workable

proposals,” said Lucinda.

“Participants will be rewarded

for their effort by receiving

constructive feedback from business

leaders. The young people

who develop the best job creation

proposals will be given the opportunity

of spending a week

shadowing a successful Irish entrepreneur

and the top entry will

also win a research grant with

Amarach research of €15,000.

I would urge any local young

person to avail of this opportunity

and let their ideas be heard.

Plans should be submitted by

email or post to the Department

of Children and Youth Affairs,

Mespil Road, Dublin 4 before

Friday July 22nd 2011 and will

be assessed and awarded shortly


To enter this competition

simply email your proposal to

minister_fitzgerald@health. or send it to Minister

Frances Fitzgerald, Dept. of

Children, Mespil Road, Dublin

4. For more information log on


evidence gathering imaginable”.

She claims that the dogs had

merely been trying to please their


If you read this book without

having read the other material

available which questions the abduction

theory, you could not fail

to have the greatest of sympathy

for the McCanns. However, it is a

statistical fact that in the majority

of missing children cases, a family

member, a neighbour or someone

known to the child, is involved.

The Portuguese police would

have been negligent if they did

not consider this possibility. They

did not find any forensic evidence

of an intruder in the apartment

which had been to some extent

contaminated by the Tapas group

searching the apartment when

Kate raised the alarm.

Since the book was published last

month, Scotland Yard has agreed

to conduct a review. A reconstruction

of that evening which the

Tapas nine initially agreed to do

but which never happened would

help. Hopefully the review will be

independent with the co-operation

of all and with no possibilities


The book costs €15.99 in local

shops and is published by Bantam


Relevant Websites

(includes Portuguese police files)



  1. PJ asked KATE one significant question: ' Is it true that you planned to have Madeleine ADOPTED?' Police seemed to have done their search-work. Also we read about "the naughty spot", etc, etc... KATE could have well planned to get rid of her - one scenario is that SHE, KATE, aided by her female mates, TANNER AND FIONA, thought of the plan, using medical aids, stuff they put in Maddy's drinks, 1, 2, 3.... and 'bingo', the child dies. See all the coming and going - fiona says she had a sick child...... really it was maddy and both tanner and fiona took Maddy away, tanner using this to describe the 'raptor'... they come back to the Tapas bar, make kate understand that it's all done.... kate then can 'sound the alarm'.....

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