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

The case of the Irish baby girl

Hotel Paraíso in Albufeira

Yesterday the Belfast Telegraph published the story of an Irish couple who made a few headlines, back in May, in the Portuguese media for placing their baby daughter at risk.

Shocked Hotel Paraíso guests and workers called the GNR [police authority] after seeing the child’s mother staggering with the baby in her arms on an 8th floor veranda, earlier on the child had been thrown into a swimming pool. The child was removed from the swimming pool with scratches to her legs and appearing to have been sedated. The mother, later on, confessed to having used sedatives on the baby. The GNR in their turn called an ambulance who drove the 14 month-old baby girl to Faro Hospital to be tested and examined and alerted the British consulate as well as the child protective service emergency response.

The couple, who at the time regretted what they had done and said they had understood the gravity of their actions, are now twisting the facts and blaming the GNR police and Faro Hospital staff for rescuing their child.

Ever year several British families visit the Algarve, every year at least one or two cases of drunk and disorderly parents who have endangered their own children lives or neglected their children will be reported to the proper police authorities and child protective services, only the extreme cases make it to the media, as was the case of this Irish couple. Using "McCann" comparisons and prejudices as devices to excuse their own criminal and neglectful behaviour has become common place.

What follows is the translation of two media reports, requested by a lady from Belfast, one from the well-respected Público daily newspaper and the other from TVI Portuguese TV channel that were published and broadcast, respectively, in May.

Irish baby in the Algarve - Parents constituted as arguidos [status given to a suspect of a crime]
14 month-old baby is still hospitalized

Broadcast by TVI, May 20 2014 at 13pm


Marisa Rodrigues (TVI journalist) - The baby girl remains hospitalized at the Faro Hospital, not because she needs urgent medical care but because the authorities wish to understand if the eventual return of the child back to her parents may signify placing the little girl again at risk. Before that, the Public Ministry wishes to analyse the clinical reports as well as the reports of the child protection services technicians in order to decide the future of the 14 month-old baby girl.

It was the GNR who rescued her from her parents, of Irish nationality, at the beginning of Sunday night [18th May], after being alerted by guests of this hotel in Albufeira, who were shocked with what they had witnessed. The mother was on an 8th floor veranda, staggering, bumping into the walls with the baby in her arms. The witnesses also guarantee they saw the parents throwing the baby into a swimming pool.

When the GNR officers entered the apartment, the baby was on her mother arms, who was staggering, while the father was lying down, almost passed out, both visibly drunk. The GNR called the INEM [emergency services/ambulance emergency response vehicle] and the mother ended up confessing she had given sedatives to her daughter, who was awaken without crying and had bruises and scratches on her legs.

The parents weren't arrested since they weren't caught in the act but were constituted as arguidos for suspicions of gross negligence and mistreatment. TVI knows that the Public Ministry has already ordered the Commission for the Protection of Children and Young People[CPJC] to question the parents and it won't make any decisions until the CPJC reports are concluded. For now the child is to remain in the Faro hospital, the girl is temporarily under the guardianship of the court.


British baby victim of parental neglect in the Algarve can return home

The little girl is still hospitalized at the Faro hospital after the parents, visibly drunk, threw her into the swimming pool and later on, still with troubles in keeping the balance, the mother carried the baby in her arms at the 8th floor veranda of the hotel

by Mariana Oliveira

The one year and a half Irish baby girl who has been the victim of neglect by her parents, an Irish couple who is on holidays in Albufeira, has received permission to return to the UK with her family. The decision was made by the Commission for the Protection of Children and Young People (CPCJ) in Albufeira, who questioned the parents and have already contacted the Irish child protection services that will accompany the family and will assess the possibilities of further danger to the little girl.

The girl remains hospitalized this Tuesday at the Faro hospital, where she was admitted on Sunday night after several guests alerted to the danger the baby was in. The parents, visibly drunk, had threw her in the afternoon into the swimming pool and later on, still with troubles in keeping the balance, the mother carried the baby in her arms at the 8th floor veranda of the hotel.

As the spokesman of the GNR of Faro, Lieutenant Colonel José Palhau, explained to the Público newspaper, the police were called to the hotel in Albufeira about 20.30pm, last Sunday, upon their arrival they were faced with a situation that led them to request medical assistance for the child. After an initial assessment, the child was transported to the paediatric service at the Faro hospital. “A police report was made and the case was sent to the Family and Minors Court of Portimão”, said José Palhau.

Contacted by Público, an official source at the hospital just confirmed that the child remains hospitalized, without advancing any further details on the clinical situation. Público found out, however, that the child is clinically well and the suspicions that the child had been sedated have not been validated.

The Attorney General's Office (PGR) confirmed that Public Ministry [prosecutors] at the Family and Minors Court of Portimão received a communication “concerning the possible hazardous situation” of the baby girl that is in Portugal with her parents. “The Public Ministry informed the Commission for the Protection of Children and Young People in Albufeira, the entity that has the competence to monitor the situation of the child, since the consent of the parents was obtained”, clarified the PGR. The Attorney General's Office also stressed that under the current Law of Protection of Children and Young People in Danger the judicial intervention is ancillary to the child protection committees, taking place only in cases where they do not obtain parental consent.

The president of CPCJ in Albufeira, Manuela Lima, who received the Public Ministry communication on Monday, has already taken several steps.“We've heard the parents of the child and have already contacted the British Consulate and our counterparts in the UK”, said Manuela Lima. She also stated that the parents of the baby “are aware of the gravity of their actions and are committed to the well-being of the child”. Since the family does not reside in Portugal, the committee considered that it would be better for the baby to return to the country of origin where, Manuela Lima guarantees, the situation will be monitored and evaluated by the local child protection services. “We have already sent the whole process to Ireland”, said the president of the CPCJ in Albufeira.

While the baby is in Portugal, the Commission shall continue to accompany her, articulating its activities with the hospital in Faro. Manuela Lima clarified as well that the custody of the baby was never taken away from the parents.

At the Paraíso Apartment Hotel in Albufeira, where the family is staying, no one was available to make further comments. A receptionist of this four star hotel, which consist of 396 apartments, stated she was not allowed to transfer phone calls from journalists to the Irish couple.

in Público newspaper, May 20, 2014 at 21pm

'New “British shame” as tot removed from drunken parents' by Natasha Donn at the Portugal Resident, May 20, 2014
'British baby girl seized by social services in Portugal after claims 'drunk parents threw 14-month-old' in swimming pool' by Sam Greenhill at the Daily Mail, May 20, 2014
'Belfast couple deny being drunk on Portugal trip as police take tot into care' by Joanne Sweeney at the Belfast Telegraph, May 24, 2014

Contact the UK Press Complaints Commission

For the breach of the Code of Practice:


i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and - where appropriate - an apology published. In cases involving the Commission, prominence should be agreed with the PCC in advance.

iii) The Press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

iv) A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published..


  1. Pity the same action wasn't taken with the McCanns, having neglected their children and losing one. The twins should have been removed and taken under the coursts care. Just another pointer that the Mcs get special treatment

  2. E o custo da inconsciência destas pessoas para o país que visitam? McCanns, estes, todos os que não sabem cuidar de uma criança pequena, embebedam-se, sedam-nas, deixam-nas sozinhas... Estas pessoas deviam ser imediatamente responsabilizadas quer existam danos graves e irreparáveis ou não.

  3. Yes Joana........

    Those foreign parents........unbelievable......

    Oeps.......I am a foreign parent....... :-)

    Joana do you realy think this helps Amaral c.s. ?

  4. @3 This has nothing to do with Amaral case, an article was published with lies and prejudice. The article, in the way that was written, lead readers to blindly state things like "Boycott Portugal". I'm challenging the newspaper and the journalist who didn't verify the validity of the story nor the facts that were widely available for anyone to see on the net.

    1. Can I ask you why you are so sure of the validity of the original story as reported or its sources or that it was reported free from lies of prejudice. Just because information is available on the net does not make it fact. You say "the mother, later on, confessed to having used sedatives on the baby", but blood test results showed that the child had not in fact been sedated, so why would she make such an admission? (Calpol is not a sedative, it's active ingredient is paracetamol ) For me this casts doubt on the validity and accuracy of any of the information in the original news reports and makes the couples assertions appear quite plausible.

  5. all this bad press must be harming Portugal its about time people stood up to all these lies write to your government I have written to mr Cameron saying im a tax payer am fed up with all the money spent on mc cans case who are the anyway to get such special treatment when familes like myself find it hard to make ends meat hope he can sleep well at night don't expect an answer to my letter

  6. @5 , That's very good a few of us will write in to Mr Cameron , and as tax payers I am sure he had a duty to reply and see what the real world thinks of this despicable pair who are persecuting a good honest Police officer on the cost of the people who donated for the horrible pair to look out for their "missing" child , who went "missing" due to the hideous pairs neglect ! And while hes on the case we suggest he gets the "fund" and pinky investigate too . I am sure pinky can be done for gross deception and for misleading the public .

  7. So already the lying spin has started, just like Gerry McCann repeatedly saying there is no evidence of harm to Madeleine (albeit she is no longer around), and the idiot media are willing to tell it like that. These parents, McCanns included, are not fit to have care of children, and the little girl in questions is well and truly in harms way because of such parents, just as Madeleine was.

  8. what a disgrace these parents are,just like the mccanns telling lies to try to cover themselves now they are home,bet Portugal are really pleased that people like this pair will never go there again.

  9. It is possible that Amaral delayed the trial to prove that the NSY searchs are smoke and mirrors., a farce.
    Since it was dealyed, we did not see it back.
    But if the Met are looking for a corpse, they believe in the death.

  10. Could Rebekah Brooks have an evidence against the McCanns, proving that they were protected by the British government which let the parents to get away with a homicide, and that is why the jury found her innocent?

  11. Calpol (which is used in Ireland) as a way of getting down fever is hardly as sedative it's what every child takes in this country... The way the Portuguese police treated that couple as reported here is a ABSOLUTE DISGRACE... Pack of animals is what it sounds like the police are over there... Should be ashamed of themselves maybe the staff would want to get their facts straight before they go off making accusations and complaints. PIGS!

    1. Just fail to mention the staggering mother on the veranda of the eight floor with her baby in her arms.! . ..plus the other guests who'd complained . The calpol isn't the issue here, the child was in danger and the authorities were absolutely right to intervene.

  12. Maybe @11 aka Lee-Ann or James, you should stick to the facts and stop lying? You do know there's plenty of witnesses, from guests to the hotel and hospital staff that know of your behaviour, not to mention the CPJC, GNR, AG's Office and Public Ministry, as well as journalists and reporters who filmed and photographed one of you falling down, still drunk, at the paediatrician entrance. In my view you were lucky for escaping a court trial for what you did.

  13. Being hounded by the media, or inviting the media?

    Lee-Anne O'Donoghue ‏@lodonoghue6
    2:03 AM - 24 May 2014

    Lee-Anne O'Donoghue ‏@lodonoghue6
    11:15 AM - 24 May 2014

  14. According to Amaral, Maddie's hair show the use of sedative till the last day of her life which means that the PJ had some kept with them.
    Amaral uses the word Calpol but it does not mean that he meant it. He just referred to the fact that Maddie used sedative, according to her grandfather. It was probably a real sedative, the fatal one.

  15. another "spin doctor " found guilty , is it the year for "spin doctors" aka professional liars? I know one who needs to desperately go in front of a Judge for telling lies and harbouring a pair of hideous greedy , money grabbing , neglectful parents who were the reason their child went "missing" , had they stayed at home with their under 4 year old kids the child would still be with them , Spin this one Pinky , the world knows you lie , methinks its the year for the "spin" doctors aka professional liars to face justice .

  16. Great , go on holiday , give your very young kids "calpol" and scarper down to the pub , This lot need to be charged and taken to court for neglect . As for the "mother Teresa" look alike in the Jesus creeper outside the court room , have ye no shame ? look what ye have started and spoil the good name of Portugal . Why is it only the a hand full of British Parents behave this way? Is it because of the mcconns ? An easy way to get money ? Send them on transportation as they used to in days gone by and let pinky be the one in the front of the que .

  17. The mother has been responding to posts on facebook about the story:

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue I'm the mother off the child an the original press report came from portugease an thatsy there was no mention. Because the police took r baby because we gave her calpol!!! They said we drugged her!!! Them when the hospital released a statement saying that my child was not drugged. Off course these horrible police changes there story!! So they therefore told the media that I threw my child in a pool!!! I was so drink I could not care for her!! If this was the case my daughter would be dead!!! One police man even told us this was political policing because off the ongoing maddie mc cann case!! The reason none off it makes sense is because the portugease media an police r using my family to show that they take zero tolerance with holiday makers.. Well they have used the wrong family! Eireann had been given calpol for teething, I never gave her a sedative an I was never arrested!! People need to really read between the lines!!

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue We r not maddies parents an we r being used because off what ever did or didn't happen to that poor child
    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue I had three drinks!!!!

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue The hotel staff seem me giving eireann medicine an called the police as they thought i was drugging her!!

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue I have been to hell an back from we came home! I've done nothing wrong! My family r trying to love in with r lives

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue Because I thought if I gave the truth they would stop hounding me as we have been hounded for our story from we came home

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue Not money!! My version.. Every paper in portual an Northern Ireland has had there say!!! So I'm not alowd to tell the truth y while family has been slated in the press

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue I can't see any pool from my eighth floor view if room? Also I can't see where any onlookers would be to apparently see me so drunk!!!

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue That's because there where no onlookers that's because I never threw my child in a pool!!! That's because it's all lies!! End off!! Believe what uses want

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue Because I thought if I gave the truth they would stop hounding me as we have been hounded for our story from we came home

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue Not money!! My version.. Every paper in portual an Northern Ireland has had there say!!! So I'm not alowd to tell the truth y while family has been slated in the press

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue There was no swimming pool incident never mind two!! U people need to read between the lines! I've nothing further to say! No u don't have the money off the mccanns!!

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue No I don't agree that the police where just acting outta concern! They seen a chance to tear us to streads an they did so!! The police in Portugal r brutal! They beat me an my partner because we wants to see our daughter!! They r horrible

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue I've got alegal team dealing with the press an portugease police.

    Lee-Anne Moreland O'Donoghue I was never arrested!!! Yet again more lies!! I gave my story to the Sunday world!! Belfast telegraph an the rest off the papers r getting there own two pees worth! Lies sell rem

  18. More parents missing the point, you don't get blotto when you've small children . You are to blame for what occurred not the hotel staff or police and its nothing to do with giving your child a medicine. Why do these people have children when they are clearly incapable of looking after them.The only comparison with the McCann's is they also lied and take no blame for what resulted from their inability to be responsible parents.. Kathleen hammett

  19. @20 Ask someone to translate this for you from 6:40 to 18m http://www.rtp.pt/play/p1047/e155087/sexta-as-9-ii


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