Irish Fund Launched

21 May 2007
Daily Mirror
Maeve Quigley

People across Ireland are donating thousands of euro to a new account set up to help find Madeleine McCann. Family friend Catriona Fernandez, from Dungloe, Co Donegal, organised the fund here after people came to her desperate to help.

Catriona said: "Previously a fundraising appeal was set up in England which allowed people to make a donation. "But as a friend of the McCann family I realised it was difficult to send money over from Ireland. "So we set up an account in the Allied Irish Bank so that people can go into any branch and make a donation.

"I have known the McCanns for around 15 years and I have been speaking to Gerry's brother Johnny about the ordeal the family is going through. "Any money that we raise in Ireland will help the search for Madeleine on the ground in Praia da Luz.

"The fund will also help pay lawyers and legal fees and will enable the McCanns to stay in Portugal and keep looking for their child. "Any money left over when Madeleine is found will go to children's charities including ChildLine, Barnardos and other families whose kids are missing."

Catriona revealed the Irish branch of the fund has already raised EUR3,500 through a supermarket bag-pack in Dungloe and street collections. She added: "We've had a very good response to the campaign already on a local level and hopefully now the country will support the McCanns in a positive way that will help them through this difficult time."

Anyone wanting to make a donation can go into any branch of the AIB and pay into account number xxx.

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