3 May 2009

Madeleine ignored in her parents’ town

Two years later, everyone seems to want to forget the Maddie McCann case. Except for her parents, who bet on a new worldwide campaign after publicising an image of the child at the age of six and the broadcast of the Channel Four documentary, which was partially recorded in Praia da Luz

Rothley © FDC 2009 All Rights Reserved

by Céu Neves

Rothley has recovered its quiet and is now far from the agitated months that followed the disappearance of Madeleine, two years ago today. And even the memorial that was built on the little town square has returned to its original purpose: to homage those fallen during the Second World War. An oratorio that was placed on the ground looks forgotten, on Friday, with two days to go until the 3rd of May. Until someone decides to light the candle and place a photo of Maddie. A photo reporter shoots his camera. He ends up confessing that he was the author of the staging. “I need a photo!”, he justifies.

Apart from revealing the lack of ethics by this professional, the episode is an example of what is happening in this small village near Leicester. There is nothing that recalls Madeleine. It’s a quiet place where residents stay at home. And even the owner of the Royal Oak, the bar on the square in front of the memorial, who was keen on keeping the flame for Madeleine, has surrendered as months went by. The disappearance of the 4-year-old girl, in Praia da Luz, in Portugal, is increasingly a memory and decreasingly a conversation subject. When asked if they talk about Madeleine, they reply: “Not really!”

Such is the case of Rachel, 41, a pharmacist. “It was a very sad situation and we felt solidarity with the McCanns, but we rarely discuss it. We can hardly imagine that it happened”, she says. But according to her opinion, what should never have happened was that the parents left the children alone. The pharmacist has two daughters, aged 14 and 16, and stresses that she never left them alone when they were small.

Rachel doesn’t want to state her surname, other residents don’t even reveal their first name. “This is a small village, we all end up knowing who it is and I’m very critical about what the parents did. I go abroad often, and if I want to socialise, I take the children with me”, a patron at the bar argues. He and the other two customers who smoke at the door confirm that the subject is no longer a conversation on the street, or a family debate.

But they all mention Maddie’s disappearance when questioned about the 3rd of May. And Ivone Foster, aged 64, retired, and Michael Muehlensiepen, aged 48, a business manager, underline that they’ll never forget what happened. “It’s not talked about, which doesn’t mean that we forget about it. And obviously we recall it more often as the date when it all happened draws closer. Apart from that, the newspapers keep reminding us”, they say.

Yesterday, several British newspapers, from the Sun to the Times, placed an image of Madeleine, which was treated at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, in Washington. Experts used photos of Kate and Gerry McCann when they were children, recreating Maddie’s expression an the age of six, which is how old she would be if she was alive, as her parents say they believe she is. The photo is presented as the couple’s hope to obtain information. “We’re not looking for a girl aged four anymore – but six. This is crucial, we hope that this new image (…) helps people to see how Madeleine now may look”, reads the latest message from Kate and Gerry on the FindMadeleine.com site, in the hope that new data may emerge, says family advisor Clarence Mitchell.

The McCanns spent the day in complete reclusion today and will only go out to attend mass, as Gerry McCann confirmed to DN, stating his unavailability to give interviews. With the justification: “We did what we had to do for now!”. Secluded at home, the couple followed their neighbours’ behaviour. To remain behind closed doors, with their two other children. All the same, except for the yellow and green ribbons that they placed on the gate and on the door, and the van with messages to find Madeleine. Still with the old photo.

source: Jornal de Notícias, 03.05.2009


  1. * *
    () *
    xx * * *
    xx ***
    xx *

    This is the best I can do: a candle and a hearth to MADDIE!

    I hope You understand this,I do´nt know to draw.


  2. Tosh once again Astro!

    [bold]Rothley villagers won't give up hope[/bold]

    People living in the village of Rothley have refused to give up hope that missing youngster Madeleine McCann will be found.
    As the search for the little girl enters its third year, there were prayers and fund-raising events to show support for the family as their ordeal goes on.
    Madeleine disappeared from her holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal on May 3, 2007 in a suspected abduction. Since then there has been a worldwide hunt to find the youngster.
    Schoolchildren yesterday dressed in yellow and green – the colours of the Find Madeleine appeal – and sold cakes to raise money for the search.

  3. Hope your going publish the article I sent Astro, in the name of freedom of speech. Some chance and no chance eh?

  4. You obviously don't believe in the Portuguese Constitution then Astro, particularly this bit....

    "Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship"

    from your page.....

    "1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º"

    You'd be best to remove this from your Home Page as it makes you look ridiculous.

  5. Anonymous, please move on to another blog, we do not have to accept personal attacks, get it?

  6. There were no personal attacks, merely comments about your lack of balance and the fact that you were not honouring your commitment to free speech. You and I know Joana it is not the first, or will it be the last time and people should know that.
    I'm running along now to a "fair" blog.... Ta Ta For Noo!

  7. Anon., you're a bit out of line here...Joana and Astro have published your 12:56 post didn't they? In it you give the web link to the newspaper article, so if anyone wishes to read further they can acess the newspaper web page. No need to waste any of this blog's space with biased and embelished crap!


  8. A vela ainda ficou dt.ª mas o coração não.Quando o fiz aqui,parecia bem.A Maddie compreende.


    Anonymous Ta Ta: please move on to kinder park. And ask to mumm to buy a candy or an ice cream but you must eat with a spoon,a litlle one, get it?

    Again from anonymous Ta Ta:

    Yes, i confess there were personal attacks,not merely comments.
    I must congratulate You because You are very fair and also because you are honouring your commitment to free speech. Please,I wish Your´s pardon.Please!
    I'm running along now to the kinder garden and buy a candy or an ice cream but i will eat him with a spoon.