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

Madeleine McCann family: Thank you to everyone for your support

MADELEINE McCann’s grandmother today praised the ECHO for its support since the disappearance of her grand-daughter in Portugal last year.

Sue Healy was speaking after the Daily Star and the Daily Express were forced to run front-page apologies and donate over £500,000 to the Find Madeleine Fund for suggesting Kate and Gerry McCann were behind their daughter’s disappearance.

Speaking from her home in Mossley Hill, Mrs Healy, Kate’s mother, criticised both newspapers for writing the “most sensational and the most ridiculous” stories, and said they had written terrible things at a time when the family’s grief was at its worst.

But she praised the ECHO for its support saying: “I always think of the ECHO as in a different league to the others.

“You’re our sort of people. I don’t think anything I’ve ever said to the ECHO has been misquoted and I don’t think it ever will be.”

The family’s nightmare with the press began when Kate and Gerry McCann were made formal suspects in the case.

Mrs Healy said: “At first it was just the Portuguese papers but then things changed.

“Terrible things were written. It was very hard for my husband and I to read, and it must have been extremely difficult for Kate when she was missing Madeleine so much.

“I know journalists are under pressure but we need to take a stand now. Editors need to sit down and think ‘If this was my family, would I print this? Is there any truth in it?’

“When there was nothing to report they would go away and make up the flimsiest stories.

“They have a total lack of respect.”

Mrs Healy, 62, also blamed the national newspapers for eradicating people’s trust.

She said: “You want to know what is going on in the world and you read the papers so you can make a judgement. You can’t do that if the press tells lies and I hope this changes.

“But maybe I’m expecting too much.”

She said the money in the fund would continue to be put to good use.

She added: “I’m not really too involved, but I know it is strictly audited. Sometimes I wonder where they will turn next but they are both very capable people who will keep going.

“All I want in the world is for Madeleine to come home and for us to be able to give that money away to help other missing children.”

Source: Liverpool Echo


  1. Paulo Pereira Cristóvão, “When the parents told police that they went to dinner and left the children at home alone, they confessed to the crime of abandonment. The penalty of abandonment is at least three years’ imprisonment.”'

  2. Gerry McCann:
    - “We want a big event to raise awareness that she is still missing (...) It wouldn’t be a one-year anniversary, it will be sooner than that” (June 3, 2007)
    - "I have no doubt we will be able to sustain a high profile for Madeleines disappearance in the long term." (June 28, 2007)


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