McCann parents on Oprah show

29 April 2009
Irish Post

AS the second anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance approaches one of America’s biggest stars has offered her support to the heartbroken family.  And Irish people in the McCann’s native Donegal are also praying for a miracle.

Parents Kate and Gerry McCann have never stopped in their search to find their missing daughter. And in an emotionally-charged interview with chat show host Oprah, which will air next week, Kate McCann speaks of how she misses Madeleine and visits her bedroom every day.

She said: "Not a day goes by when I don’t think about her. I feel Madeleine is still close to me and alive."

Maddie’s grandmother Eileen McCann, who lives in Glasgow but whose family hail from Dungloe and St. Johnson in Co. Donegal, looked after Maddie’s twin siblings while their parents went to America. She said: "I’ve just got back home after spending the past few days down in Leicestershire minding the twins. We’re all exhausted but it was a worthwhile trip."

The McCanns left Donegal in 1967. Maddie's father Gerry was born later in England, but the family still have relatives and friends in the county. Locals have always stood firm behind the family.

St. Johnson publican Joe Peoples said that the whole community is still hoping and praying that Madeleine will turn up one day. Mr Peoples leases The Fisherman’s pub from grandmother Eileen McCann but says that the family have not been back to Donegal — a place where the McCanns spent many family holidays since Madeleine disappeared.

He said: "Of course we’re all praying that the little girl will be found safe and sound one of these days. The McCanns are well-known in the area and we’re all thinking of them at this sad time."

Kate and Gerry McCann are convinced that Madeleine is alive as they continue to explore all avenues into her disappearance.

In a renewed bid to highlight the case, the couple flew to Chicago to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show — which attracts a worldwide audience of 1.2billion in 144 countries.

Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell says the McCanns agreed to speak with Winfrey because of the global reach of her show.

The episode will be broadcast on May 3 — two years to the day after Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, just days before her fourth birthday. A message from the couple posted on the official Find Madeleine website confirms that they will never give up in the search for their beloved daughter.

It reads:
"It is impossible for us to ignore the day-to-day heartache of missing Madeleine but there is however, a very important and positive fact that remains…in spite of all the investigative work done, there is still absolutely nothing to suggest harm to Madeleine and therefore, a very real likelihood that Madeleine is alive and well. We will never, ever give up."

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