Andrew Oxlade "My experience of Maddie's resort in Praia de Luz, the Algarve" - 09 May 2007

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Post  Guest on Fri 24 Apr 2015, 1:26 pm

...just found this - by Andrew Oxlade

http://blogs.thisismoney.co.uk/2007/05/my_experience_o.html

"09 May 2007 1:32 PM
My experience of Maddie's resort in Praia de Luz, the Algarve


I need to break from the usual financial slant of posts on this blog. I'm sure you'll understand as I thing's it's important to give my views on this...

My family and I returned last week relaxed from a holiday at the sleepy end of Portugal’s Algarve. We were, however, stunned to wake on Friday morning, days after we returned, to hear news that a girl, three-year-old Madeleine McCann, had gone missing from the same complex, yards from where we stayed.

We picked the Ocean Club resort in Praia de Luz, a quiet village, because of its connections with Mark Warner Holidays. The company has a growing reputation among families for offering comprehensive childcare wrapped in packages with free sports activities, such as tennis and water sports. The balance of a family holiday with time to relax away from the kids is attractive to millions of Britons.

We had a great time, able to spend time together as a family while also having some time out. Sam, our two-year-old son, was well looked after while we lounged by the pool, or why I played tennis or sailed. My wife Andrea and I even made nightly jaunts to local restaurants, a rare treat for new parents.

Luz, as the locals call it, is a laid back resort with a mix of Portugese holidaymakers and locals and, in off-peak May, a smaller number of foreign tourists. A handful of restaurants and bars in the town have a balance of mainly British families and friendly locals. This is an area you would not associate with crime, let alone the abduction of a child.

The Ocean Club has several hubs. One is a 24-hour reception, the other two have swimming pools, restaurants and tennis courts. At their furthest point, these centres are 10 minutes walk apart. In between are Ocean Club apartments mixed with local homes.

The options for childcare were numerous, well organised and of a very high standard. A well-staffed nursery with a child-to-carer ratio that was often just two-to-one, took youngsters from 9.30 to 12.30 every day and from 2.30 to 5.30 in the afternoon.

These creche facilities were next to the poolside Tapas restaurant where Madeleine’s parents were eating when she disappeared.

Madeleine and the younger twins Amelie and Sean were sleeping at the McCanns’ apartment overlooking the swimming pool at the main hub of the resort. Around that pool was the Tapas bar which was in high demand every night. Most guests went to the buffet at the Ocean Club’s Millennium restaurant, a 10-minute walk away from the McCanns’ apartment. But eager guests would queue from 9am to book one of the limited number of tables at the Tapas bar, which served barbecued fish and meat dishes to order. Both restaurants were included in the price of the holiday.

The McCanns’ choice to leave their children at the flat and make regular checks is surprising given the alternatives. In their defence, they may have been expecting, as advertised in Mark Warner brochures, a ‘listening service’. Staff told us that the service had been discontinued because the apartments were too spread out. The resort, however, offered a baby-sitting service for 15 euros (£10) an hour, which was staffed by a member of the daytime nursery teams, or a ‘dining out club’. This involved parents dropping off children at the crèche where they would be supervised watching videos until they went to sleep. Parents would then return before 11.30 to scoop up their sleepy offspring.

I can imagine the McCanns’ dilemma. The ‘dining out club’ was more than a five-minute walk from where the McCanns stayed along cobbled streets or a winding pedestrian path through the apartments. It’s not far - it worked brilliantly for us on most nights - but it would have felt much further if you had to ferry thee children there and back (and hope they were still asleep after doing so). Plus parents were required to wait until children under two, which includes the McCanns’ twins, were asleep. We talked to parents who said this was enough to put them off the option.

The McCanns opted instead to eat 40-50m from their apartment, not much more than a pool’s width away. They hoped it would be just close enough to hear a crying baby but with bar music playing and restaurant hubbub, it wasn’t close enough to hear what happened to Madeleine that night.

I can't imagine what they're going through now. I, along with millions others, only hope they can find her soon and safe.

- Andrew Oxlade, Editor, This is Money

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Post  candyfloss on Fri 24 Apr 2015, 1:40 pm

Yes thanks Helene, I posted it many times on CMOMM and eventually put it in Archives, as many arguments were put forth about the eating arrangements.  This piece describes how it worked very well, plus other snippets about babysitting etc.  Thanks for reminding me of it, will post it in Archives where it will be found easier.

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Post  Guest on Fri 24 Apr 2015, 1:45 pm

I´m sorry - textusa covered this too - years ago -  Embarassed

http://textusa.blogspot.de/2011/04/reviewing-reviews.html

...please delete, if...

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Post  candyfloss on Fri 24 Apr 2015, 2:00 pm

Helene wrote:I´m sorry - textusa covered this too - years ago -  Embarassed

http://textusa.blogspot.de/2011/04/reviewing-reviews.html

...please delete, if...

No it is great Helene that is why I put it in here, it can be discussed but found rather more easily for future arguments/reference.  Thanks for posting it, I had forgotten about it.

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Post  Dee Coy on Sat 25 Apr 2015, 1:18 am

That's fascinating, Helene, never seen it before - thank you. And yet another successful professional who chose Mark Warner and the OC as his out-of-season holiday destination that week.

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Post  Guest on Sat 25 Apr 2015, 7:34 am

Dee Coy wrote:That's fascinating, Helene, never seen it before - thank you. And yet another successful professional who chose Mark Warner and the OC as his out-of-season holiday destination that week.
[

Fascinating! Reading this it siunds like a holiday brochure on its own. The details given about Mark Warner have that sort of tone. Quite possible Bell Pottinger had a word. Besides, I'm sure that what he wrote was quite true.

So early days, but imo Alex Woolfall was busy managing the reputation of MW pretty well. He - despite evidence to the contrary - said that the McCs never mentioned abduction in the beginning. There's a telling bit in the book about the mass attended by the McCs on the first Sunday. woolfall tried to get them to leave by the side door but his charges decided they wanted to let the live and whatnot wash over them and took the front exit.

Woolfall must have had one of his most difficult jobs - his main job was to rescue the MW reputation and that included the McCs. except that TM had quite a different agenda.

Btw: ROB specifically states in his rog. that they were fully aware there was no listening service. That bit about the service in the above blog looks like the sort of thing Woolfall may have asked him to put in the blog post.
Very neat work imo. Don't know what Woolfall thought once the IFLG turned on the 11th and when the Fund was started up.
He did the best he could with very difficult material.

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Post  Guest on Sat 25 Apr 2015, 8:49 am

I'm sure I read somewhere that the Tapas party negotiated a discount on the holiday when they discovered there was no listening service.

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Post  candyfloss on Sat 25 Apr 2015, 8:57 am

Resistor wrote:I'm sure I read somewhere that the Tapas party negotiated a discount on the holiday when they discovered there was no listening service.

Yes, I have too, one of the tapas statements?  Which one I can't remember.

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Post  Guest on Sat 25 Apr 2015, 9:17 am

It might have been one of the Paynes, which would explain why they took a baby monitor.  Which they subsequently discovered didn't work - probably due to the distance involved, obstacles in the way &c.  Point is, they all clearly knew before they went there that there was no listening service and so they would have to make other arrangements.  Any adult with two brain cells to rub together would immediately see that leaving the kids asleep, whether drugged or not, was not a viable alternative and I just can't believe that a group of doctors would dream for one moment that this was acceptable.  It all stinks as badly as Baby Oldfield's Growbag.

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Post  Châtelaine on Sat 25 Apr 2015, 9:30 am

The Paynes baby monitor worked well. It was the Tanner/O'Brien one [which suddenly turned up IIRC late 2007 or even only in the 2008 rogs] that wasn't reliable because of the distance.

And, yes, I remember something of a discount too.
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Post  chirpyinsect on Sat 25 Apr 2015, 9:37 am

Tigger wrote:
Dee Coy wrote:That's fascinating, Helene, never seen it before - thank you. And yet another successful professional who chose Mark Warner and the OC as his out-of-season holiday destination that week.
[

Fascinating! Reading this it siunds like a holiday brochure on its own. The details given about Mark Warner have that sort of tone.  Quite possible Bell Pottinger had a word.  Besides, I'm sure that what he wrote was quite true.

So early days, but imo Alex Woolfall was busy managing the reputation of MW pretty well. He  - despite evidence to the contrary - said that the McCs never mentioned abduction in the beginning. There's a telling bit in the book about the mass attended by  the McCs on the first Sunday. woolfall tried to get them to leave by the side door but his charges decided they wanted to let the live and whatnot wash over them and took the front exit.

Woolfall must have had one of his most difficult jobs - his main job was to rescue the MW reputation and that included the McCs. except that TM had quite a different agenda.

Btw: ROB specifically states in his rog. that they were fully aware there was no listening service. That bit about the service in the above blog looks like the sort of thing Woolfall may have asked him to put in the blog post.
Very neat  work imo. Don't know what Woolfall thought once the IFLG turned on the 11th and  when the Fund was started up.  
He did the best he could with very difficult  material.

Back in November I posted a couple of Tripadvisor items about the OC. The first one was from a family who stayed there a year before ie 2006 but the item wasn`t put on TA until May 2007 (funny that) It damned the accom as being uncomfortable and the apartment itself as making them feel unsafe. It had all the hallmarks of a carefully planted suggestion that the OC is a dangerous and nasty place to stay with kids.
The second one, which I thought might be genuine at the time but now have had second thoughts about, did praise the place but made much of the difficult and bumpy buggy ride to the Millennium Restaurant and the cobbled streets around.
Remember that was TM`s excuse for not going there.
It all smells very Pink to me.

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Post  Guest on Sat 25 Apr 2015, 9:49 am

Tigger wrote:
Dee Coy wrote:That's fascinating, Helene, never seen it before - thank you. And yet another successful professional who chose Mark Warner and the OC as his out-of-season holiday destination that week.
[

Fascinating! Reading this it siunds like a holiday brochure on its own. The details given about Mark Warner have that sort of tone.  Quite possible Bell Pottinger had a word.  Besides, I'm sure that what he wrote was quite true.

So early days, but imo Alex Woolfall was busy managing the reputation of MW pretty well. He  - despite evidence to the contrary - said that the McCs never mentioned abduction in the beginning. There's a telling bit in the book about the mass attended by  the McCs on the first Sunday. woolfall tried to get them to leave by the side door but his charges decided they wanted to let the live and whatnot wash over them and took the front exit.

Woolfall must have had one of his most difficult jobs - his main job was to rescue the MW reputation and that included the McCs. except that TM had quite a different agenda.

Btw: ROB specifically states in his rog. that they were fully aware there was no listening service. That bit about the service in the above blog looks like the sort of thing Woolfall may have asked him to put in the blog post.
Very neat  work imo. Don't know what Woolfall thought once the IFLG turned on the 11th and  when the Fund was started up.  
He did the best he could with very difficult  material.

More worrying in that context then is the Daily Telegraph's "Happy In a Nanny State" article that appeared a few weeks before the disappearance.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/portugal/740884/Happy-in-a-nanny-state.html

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Post  Guest on Sat 25 Apr 2015, 12:00 pm

Seicento wrote:
Tigger wrote:
Dee Coy wrote:That's fascinating, Helene, never seen it before - thank you. And yet another successful professional who chose Mark Warner and the OC as his out-of-season holiday destination that week.
[

Fascinating! Reading this it siunds like a holiday brochure on its own. The details given about Mark Warner have that sort of tone.  Quite possible Bell Pottinger had a word.  Besides, I'm sure that what he wrote was quite true.

So early days, but imo Alex Woolfall was busy managing the reputation of MW pretty well. He  - despite evidence to the contrary - said that the McCs never mentioned abduction in the beginning. There's a telling bit in the book about the mass attended by  the McCs on the first Sunday. Woolfall tried to get them to leave by the side door but his charges decided they wanted to let the love and whatnot wash over them and took the front exit.

Woolfall must have had one of his most difficult jobs - his main job was to rescue the MW reputation and that included the McCs. except that TM had quite a different agenda.

Btw: ROB specifically states in his rog. that they were fully aware there was no listening service. That bit about the service in the above blog looks like the sort of thing Woolfall may have asked him to put in the blog post.
Very neat  work imo. Don't know what Woolfall thought once the IFLG turned on up  the 11th and  when the Fund was started up.  
He did the best he could with very difficult  material.

More worrying in that context then is the Daily Telegraph's "Happy In a Nanny State" article that appeared a few weeks before the disappearance.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/portugal/740884/Happy-in-a-nanny-state.html

Sorry about all the typos earlier. I have a good excuse..  Embarassed

Meanwhile this article is umph! Timing? But when did MW take over the OC? For some reason I thought it was in fact 2007?  I'll have to check. Millennium walk now 12 minutes, poor dears. ''Sun-kissed' young men as well. Well Betty, whoever you are - that was a very timely essay to fall back on for TM.

Eta: I think MW started in OC in 2006, but can't be 100% sure, hard to find somehow.

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Post  Mimi on Sat 25 Apr 2015, 12:54 pm

At the bottom of Melinda Libby`s Telegraph article there is a price list. Just a quick calculation suggests that holiday cost them at least £2,000. I thought they were supposed to be potless.

Praia basics
A week with Mark Warner (0870 898 8942, www.markwarner.co.uk ) at the Ocean Club, Praia de Luz costs from £545 per adult, two weeks from £699; child prices vary according to age, but start at £273/£350 for children aged two to 12; those under two are charged £100 a week. This includes flights, transfers, accommodation with breakfast and dinner, childcare for children aged two and over and use of tennis courts and activities such as sailing and windsurfing tuition, canoeing, aerobics and fitness classes
. Diving courses, tennis coaching and tuition for RYA sailing qualifications cost extra, as does the crèche for children under two (from £230 a week).

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Post  Cristobell on Sat 25 Apr 2015, 1:04 pm

There really was no excuse for leaving those tiny children on their own other than sheer selfishness and narcissism. They didn't want the hassle of taking the kids to the crèche and waiting for them to go sleep, and of course, carrying them home after when they would be likely to wake up and become fractious. And clearly they were too penny pinching to pay for an inhouse babysitter.

That I think is the basis of this crime, and even now, they got it badly and devastatingly wrong and as doctors with a God complex, they aint ever going to admit it.
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Post  Guest on Sat 25 Apr 2015, 2:24 pm

Cristobell wrote:There really was no excuse for leaving those tiny children on their own other than sheer selfishness and narcissism.  They didn't want the hassle of taking the kids to the crèche and waiting for them to go sleep, and of course, carrying them home after when they would be likely to wake up and become fractious.  And clearly they were too penny pinching to pay for an inhouse babysitter.

That I think is the basis of this crime, and even now, they got it badly and devastatingly wrong and as doctors with a God complex, they aint ever going to admit it.

They "aint every going to admit it" because it probably never happened.

As PeterMac said on the "other" forum, if neglect was their defence, HOW BAD WAS THE ACTUAL CRIME ????

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Post  chirpyinsect on Wed 05 Aug 2015, 11:12 am

Came across this from the Telegraph when nosing around. Hadn`t seen it before. Sycophantic much!

By Olga Craig

7:00AM BST 24 Apr 2011

Comments256 Comments





It is the spiritual sanctuary to which Kate and Gerry McCann return time and time again with each passing year. Usually their visits are in private, occasionally with close relatives. But it is here, in the tiny, white-washed 17th-century church of Our Lady of Light, overlooking the sea in Praia da Luz on the Algarve, where the couple feel closest to Madeleine, their cherished oldest child, who next month will have been missing for four years. Here is where Kate, especially, in the words of parish priest Father Haynes Hubbard, her Portuguese pastor and confidant, “comes back to cling to the hope that their daughter will come home”.


The church has always been where the McCanns and their supporters have gathered, particularly during those dark days following May 3 2007 when Madeleine, then just days short of her fourth birthday, vanished from the family’s holiday apartment in the seaside village. It has been here they have found succour and strength. Here that they still hope one day to return to give thanks and salvation for the safe return of their child, who will turn eight next month.


Yet today, as another agonising anniversary looms for the McCanns, there is, surely, something missing? While the congregation prays daily for Madeleine, the photographs of the little girl, forever frozen in time as the chubby-cheeked, gap-toothed toddler she was when she vanished, are nowhere to be seen. Once, they adorned the walls and pews. “Find Madeleine” posters, replaced when they faded, were pinned near the altar and yellow and green ribbons, symbols of the campaign launched to search for her, adorned the porch. Now there are none.


“There are pictures of Madeleine in the church,” Fr Hubbard says hesitantly. “But you can’t see them, they are hidden. They are not on display. People were hurt and scarred by everything that was said and done and it has frightened them off. Many are now cautious to openly display their hope.”


He is wary; uncomfortable, perhaps. He chooses his words with care. For while he – and many in his congregation – continue to pray in hope rather than in despair, the sad truth is that Madeleine McCann has become an awkward, painful and, perhaps unpalatably, at times taboo topic in Praia da Luz. Tragically, though perhaps understandably, the overwhelming atmosphere here is of a community uncomfortable with its connection to a lost little girl. Some have simply airbrushed her from memory while others, who at the time were highly vocal in the “Find Maddy” campaign, now distance themselves.
A few, one suspects, feel guilty that the locals did not handle the disappearance in a more organised – and less hysterical – manner. As Inez Lopes, editor of the local newspaper, Algarve Resident, points out: “People want to move on, not be forever attached to or identified with Madeleine. Of course we still feel for the McCanns but we want to be associated with a happier place. Frankly, it was an isolated incident that could have happened anywhere in the world. Right now Portugal is in the grip of a financial crisis. In Praia da Luz the feeling is that it has hurt our local economy. Tourism was affected by it, businesses closed. I don’t think the local business community can be blamed for wanting to return to being nothing more than a holidaymakers’ haven.”

Many of the principal characters in the case – which saw the McCanns by turn being comforted and protected by the Portuguese and expatriate communities alike as grieving parents; then vilified and shunned when they were, wrongly, accused of being involved in the disappearance – have moved on. Others want to banish all reminders of Madeleine’s existence and some openly display anger that this once prosperous tourist town is now synonymous with the abduction and possible murder of a child. Just a month ago, fresh posters were either torn down or had paint splattered over them within 24 hours. Reluctantly the McCanns have accepted that their campaign reminders are no longer welcomed by many locals.

And while no one would deny that the McCanns have borne the brunt of the anguish and opprobrium, they are not alone in that suffering. Within weeks of Madeleine’s disappearance Robert Murat, a British expatriate who had made Praia da Luz his home, was under investigation. The villa he shared with his elderly mother Jenny was searched by police and sniffer dogs and its grounds dug up. Mr Murat was questioned repeatedly by police and became the public scapegoat for the international outrage over Madeleine’s abduction. He was vilified in print, spat at in the streets and besieged in his home. In time, he too was exonerated. The scars of his public savaging, however, remain. These days he is rarely seen in public in Praia da Luz. He has since married his long-term girlfriend Michaela (she, too, was wrongly accused of involvement) who eight months ago gave birth to their son, Benjamin.

“No one wanted to know how I felt, or what I was going through at the time,” he says with an understandable trace of bitterness. “From my perspective, I have a new life with my wife and baby son.”

None the less, Mr Murat and his family have found it difficult to return to anonymity. “It’s still talked about here. All the time. But everyone is more cautious, less willing to take events at face value,” says Tuck Price, a close friend of Mr Murat and his staunchest supporter when he was wrongly accused. “Madeleine’s disappearance is an uncomfortable reminder that perhaps we had all become too complacent. Just last week I had my four-year-old nephew and his 12-year-old sister staying. And yes, I was more vigilant. I kept a closer eye on them than maybe I would have before Madeleine disappeared.’’

Mr Murat’s aunt and uncle, Sally and Ralph Everleigh, were also hounded during the spell he was under suspicion. Though they were never accused of any involvement they were harassed and cold-shouldered: for nothing more than being deemed guilty by association. “It was a horrendous time,” Mrs Everleigh recalls. “Our house was bugged, our phones tapped. Of course the McCanns have suffered a tragedy that they will never be able to come to terms with. How could they? But the stress of the whole situation made my husband ill. We suffered in our own way.” Little wonder, then, that each year, as the May 3 anniversary approaches, the couple leave their home and spend a few weeks in Gibraltar to escape the attention.

There are many in the tourism trade, too, whose businesses have been affected by what Ms Lopes describes as the “double whammy of the recession and the Maddy effect”. Several shops are boarded up and closed, and the resort seems a little more shabby, a little more down-at-heel. Restaurant owners mutter or grimace dismissively when asked how they have been affected. “Badly,” is the morose, monosyllabic response of one café owner. “We don’t want to talk about it,” say most. “We want the holidaymakers back.” It hasn’t helped, naturally, that Portugal’s weather is currently unseasonably poor. Last week, Praia da Luz was lashed with torrential rain, its few tourists forced to huddle in cafés clad in sou’westers and gumboots.

Mrs Ruth McCann (no relation) who owned the 5a apartment that was rented to the McCanns through the Ocean Club complex from where Madeleine was snatched, has tried for two years to sell. Though she dropped the price to £255,000 (£50,000 less than similar properties sell for) she didn’t have a single inquiry. The flat has lain unoccupied since the McCanns left it to return to their Leicestershire home in Rothely in September 2007. And it shows. The varnish on its front door has become faded and stripped by the sun; its garden is overgrown and the hedge, in contrast to those adjacent, is unkempt and bedraggled. “I keep asking the Ocean people to cut it,” says Ian Fenn who inherited the apartment above from his mother, Pamela, who died last month.

Mr Fenn, who lives in England, visits the flat monthly and has witnessed its transformation from white-washed holiday home to a ghoulish, run-down tourist attraction. “There are always tourists who stand outside and get their friends to take their photograph outside 5a,” he says wearily. “They find some ghastly attraction in being pictured at the spot when a little girl was abducted. Gerry McCann did come up to apologise to my mother for all the unwanted attention – which was incredibly kind as he has endured a grief and pain that no parent should ever have to withstand.”

There have been subtle changes, too, in the Ocean complex. On the night their daughter was snatched, the McCanns and seven other British couples in their party, dined in the complex, leaving all their children – in adjacent apartments – alone. They did not lock the doors, fearing the children would be trapped should a fire break out. Neither did they pay for a baby-sitting service, saying they didn’t want to leave their children with strangers. Instead, in a decision that will forever haunt the couple, they opted to take turns checking on all the sleeping children at half-hourly intervals. Today, the dining area has been turned into a pizzeria and is no longer open in the evenings. And though the McCanns have received world-wide sympathy, they know that those fateful decisions will always be questioned.

In the complex several British families, hoping to escape what they believed would be brisk Easter weather at home, were holidaying in the Ocean complex last week. Mike and Liz Atwood from Birmingham and their three children – Toby, 12, Lucy, nine, and four-year-old Tom – were among the few who braved the pool during the brief spells when the monsoon-like rains ceased. The family has holidayed in Praia da Luz many times and though Madeleine’s disappearance disturbed them, they have opted to return each year.

“But, of course, we are more vigilant,” Mrs Atwood admits. “This is a friendly, family-orientated resort and the Portuguese are well-known for how lovingly they treat children. But we just don’t let the kids out of our sight. We wouldn’t dream of going out for dinner and leaving them alone. I don’t mean to be critical of the McCanns. All parents can empathise with how grief-stricken they are. How bitterly they regret those decisions. They are paying a dear and heavy price and no one would wish it upon them. It has certainly made us be more attentive.”

On Praia da Luz’s beach, too, parents keep a keen eye on their children. Between heavy showers, as some played in the sand clad in stout boots and raincoats, their mothers shivered on the sea front watching them. “I don’t even want to sit in the café where it’s warm,” one said. “I would rather get wet and cold and know they are safe.”

Among the local Portuguese community too there have been many whose lives have changed immeasurably since Madeleine's disappearance. None more so, perhaps, than Gonçalo Amaral, who initially headed the botched and woefully inadequate police investigation. Since being dropped from the case, he has become a thorn in the McCanns’ side. While Kate awaits the launch of her own book on May 12 (Madeleine’s birthday) in which she tells the story from her perspective, and the proceeds from which will hopefully boost the vastly depleted Find Madeleine campaign, she and husband Gerry face a renewed legal battle with Amaral. They had already clashed over his sensationalised and dubious account of events, cryptically entitled The Truth of The Lie in which he attempted to justify his decision to brand the couple as suspects, which the McCanns called “mistaken” and aired his highly speculative theory that Madeleine died in apartment 5a. When he was barred from publishing it, he set about writing another which is also timed to launch near Madeleine’s birthday.

This weekend, while he refused to comment on his book, his wife Sonia defended his decision to publish a second. “Gonçalo has worked hard on this book,” she said. “He has spent days and nights assessing the evidence. In it he will say his investigation was cut short and he will explain what he would have done if he had been allowed to continue.” The timing of the publication, she insisted, was “coincidental. We are not trying to cash in on the anniversary”.

None the less, the timing will be hurtful for the McCanns who had hoped their court battles had dissuaded him from further comment. “It’s just one more painful thing they must face,” says one relative. “Quite why he wants to hound them when it has been proved definitively that they are completely innocent, no one knows.”

This weekend, while the congregation of Our Lady of Light held traditional Easter services, doubtless many said silent prayers for Madeleine, although she was not mentioned by name. Many will leave the village for the anniversary, others intend to make an appearance at the vigil in the church on May 3. In their home town of Rothely, Kate and Gerry will be steeling themselves to attend their fourth service that marks yet another year without a trace of Madeleine.

Both vigils will be emotion-filled. Prayers will be said, fervent hopes for a happy outcome – which, with the passing of time, becomes ever less likely – voiced. In Praia da Luz, however, quietly and behind the scenes, one man will spend the day remembering Madeleine in a more practical way. David Edgar, the Ulster-born ex-police officer whose Alpha Group Investigations has taken over the search, will hope that the anniversary – and publication of Kate’s book – will jog a long-forgotten memory.

That finally there will be a resolution to what has become an enduring mystery: the whereabouts of Madeleine McCann.


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Post  Guest on Wed 05 Aug 2015, 11:36 am

Who is "Sonia"?

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Post  costello on Wed 05 Aug 2015, 11:47 am

Resistor wrote:Who is "Sonia"?


I think it is Sofia.
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Post  dogs don't lie on Wed 05 Aug 2015, 11:57 am

Gonçalo Amarals ex?wife.

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Post  costello on Wed 05 Aug 2015, 12:16 pm

dogs don't lie wrote:Gonçalo Amarals ex?wife.

Yes DDL, Sofia Leal. I am sure Sonia is just a typo.
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Post  Guest on Wed 05 Aug 2015, 12:37 pm

Resistor wrote:Who is "Sonia"?
</sarcasm>

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Post  dogs don't lie on Wed 05 Aug 2015, 3:18 pm

Resistor wrote:
Resistor wrote:Who is "Sonia"?
</sarcasm>

Attention to detail, your very smart! study

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