Maddy cops: We can't be sure she is alive

8 May 2007
Michelle Nic Phaidin and Darren Boyle

Police hunting for missing Maddy McCann fear she may not be alive, it emerged last night. As the desperate hunt in the Algarve for the three-year-old entered its fifth day, the Irish Daily Mirror learned she spent two weeks in Donegal at Easter.

The family of five, from Leicester, stayed in a B&B at Dungloe before visiting relatives in the St Johnston area near the border with Derry.

Local publican Joe Peoples said: "They called into the pub on their way to the airport.

"I believe they spent a while in Crolly as well. They have quite a few relations there. "They still keep very much in touch with the place because of the family connections."

Maddy's grandmother Eileen Ferry is from the county.

Mr Peoples added: "The wee girl was lovely, full of mischief and laughter. They are a very nice family and were telling me about their time in Dungloe."

Maddy's aunt, Phil McCann, also told yesterday how she had already bought her niece a birthday present. The last time she saw her was during the Irish break and Phil said: "She's just learned to swim and in Donegal she had her water wings off for the first time."

Maddy's great-grandfather Joe McCann owned a pub in St Johnston after retiring as an RIC constable.

One of his three sons, Johnny, married Eileen, from Burtonport, in the 1960s and they moved to Scotland where heart surgeon Gerry - Maddy's father - was born.

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