Tuesday

Chapter 20 of The Truth of the Lie: An Irish family in a state of shock


AN IRISH FAMILY IN A STATE OF SHOCK.

The McCann couple return to Great Britain after more than four months spent in the Algarve. It's an almost triumphant return. The media coverage is such that you'd think you were witnessing the liberation of hostages held for years in a far-off country. Gerald McCann is shown on television carrying his son, as he descends from the plane. The child's head is against Gerald's left shoulder and his arms dangling by his sides. Gerald walks across the tarmac, still holding his son closely against himself.

In Ireland, the Smiths are watching the BBC news, which is broadcasting the event. For them, it's a shock: that person, they recognise him. That way of carrying his child, that way of walking...It's the man they saw at around 10pm on May 3rd, with a little girl, who seemed to be deeply asleep, in his arms.

This image, brings back with a jolt, that of the man they encountered in the streets of Vila da Luz, on the evening of Madeleine's disappearance. It's as if the scene is repeating itself ....Mr Smith thinking he's hallucinating, sees the same report on other channels, ITV and Sky News. From that moment, he is sure: the man they came across that night was Gerald McCann. Of that there is very little doubt. Upset by the implications of this discovery, he alerts the police and waits to be called back by those in charge of the investigation.

Read the full chapter on AnnaEsse's blog
Related: Smith family statements
Brian Kennedy contacts witness Mr Smith