07 - JUN/AOÛ - Drogheda Independent
Local family may have seen missing Maddy
Drogheda Independent - 06.06.2007
A DROGHEDA family may have been the last people to see abducted four-year-old Madeleine McCann in Portugal.
The family is understood to have seen a child in the arms of a man on the night and at the time Madeleine was taken from her parents' apartments in Praia Da Luz.
They have reported the matter and recently gave statements to the Portuguese police.
The Portuguese police have asked the family not to speak to the press in case they compromise their investigations.
The family declined to give any details to the Drogheda Independent.
Portuguese police are convinced that the child, who vanished during a family holiday in the Algarve on May 3, was abducted.
A number of Drogheda-based families holiday in the nearby Estrela Da Luz apartments, part of a complex built by Drogheda man Gerry Fagan of Oceanico Developments.
'Estrela Da Luz is just around the corner from Praia Da Luz. Loads of Drogheda people go there. It is an absolute paradise,' said Jem O'Neill, a regular visitor.
Drogheda family hit out over Madeleine case clue coverage
Drogheda Independent - 08.08.2007
A DROGHEDA family who may hold vital clues as to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have hit out at media distortion of evidence that they have given to Portuguese police.Maple Drive man Martin Smith, his wife and his children had just left the Kelly bar, which is located approximately 400 metres from the McCanns' apartment at the Ocean Club between 9.50-10pm on the night Madeleine disappeared.
They returned to Ireland the next day, and because the reported abduction times didn't originally match, they never had cause to examine their journey that night.
As it emerged that Madeleine was abducted around the same time, one of the family members had a flashback of the moment some time later and encouraged the others to jog their memory.
They remembered passing a man walking towards the beach with a child in his arms.
Other than his approximate height and the fact that he was wearing beige clothes they cannot be more specific than that. 'We are annoyed at how vague our description is,' said the family member.
The family contacted the Portuguese police and flew back over to give evidence.
However, contrary to media reports, Mr Smith had not seen chief suspect Robert Murat in a bar the evening that Madeleine was abducted. 'He definitely didn't see him on the night in question,' said a family member.
The family are also mystified at reports that he knows Mr Murat. 'They met once in a bar about two years ago. My dad would only know Mr Murat by sight,' said the family member. 'However, from what he knows, he can say that the man who was carrying the child was not Robert Murat.'