The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details    

The Smiths' Sighting *


Kate and Gerry McCann return to the UK

Praia da Luz, 03 May 2007, just before 10:00pm

The Smith family, from Ireland are returning to their apartment after a night out. As they walk, they pass a man carrying a child in his arms. The man averts his eyes from them to signal that he does not wish to speak.

Four months later, back in Ireland, the Smith family are watching TV. They see the McCanns return to the UK and observe Gerry McCann alight the aeroplane and walk across the tarmac with a sleeping Sean in his arms.

The father, Martin Smith, is shocked. He recognises the way the man turns his head down and the way the child is being held against the shoulder.

It is exactly the same as the man he saw on the streets of Praia da Luz, four months earlier.

Reference to the sighting in the PJ's 57-page report summary
'Further on this issue, the testimony of MARTIN SMITH was considered, pages 1606 and following, reporting the sighting of an individual carrying a child, in one of the streets that lead to the beach. It was said that the child could be MADELEINE McCANN, although it was never peremptorily stated. Some time later, the witness alleged that, by its stance, the individual who carried the child could be GERALD McCANN, which was concluded when he saw him descending the stairs from an airplane, pages 2871, 3991 and following and 4135 and following. It was established that at the time that was being mentioned, GERALD McCANN was sitting at the table, in the Tapas Restaurant.'

Gonçalo Amaral speaks to IOL PortugalDiário, 03/04 August 2008
PortugalDiário: The PJ's report dismisses the Smiths' testimony, due to the hour at which they say they saw the person with the child…

Gonçalo Amaral: 'It cannot be that way, because nobody knows for sure at what time the things happened. The reconstruction was not made, therefore it is impossible to know for certain. The employees do not state that Gerry McCann was in the restaurant. They only say that people were sitting down and getting up from the table. Their testimony [Smith] is very credible. The way that the person walked, the clumsy manner in which the child was held. It is nothing that sounds invented. Is it evidence? Certainly not. It is information that has to be worked further.'

Summary from 'A Verdade Da Mentira' ('The Truth of the Lie' by Gonçalo Amaral) -  Chapter's 8 & 21 - The sighting by the Smith family


Text: "Rua da Escola Primária, the location where the Smith family (black arrow) crosses paths with a man who was walking down the street (red arrow) carrying a child, on the 3rd of May 2007, at around 10 p.m." Photograph courtesy of Gonçalo Amaral, 'The Truth of the Lie'.

Chapter 8 - A man carrying a child on the way to the beach - pages 111-114
30 July 2008
Thanks to 'blackberry' for translation
- The Smith family, from Ireland, is in Luz for holidays, staying at their own holiday apartment; four adults and 5 children: the father (retired, 58) his wife, his son (23 yr old) and daughter-in-law and their two children (ie, Mr Smith's grandchildren), his daughter (12), two additional grandchildren, 10 and 4, of another daughter back in Ireland.

- approx 21h55, they are returning from "Kelly's Bar", heading north, all spread out along the street

- they pass a man walking down the middle of the street, carrying a child, with the head against his left shoulder and the arms hanging down alongside the body, in light colored or pink pyjamas, bare feet, pale skin typical of British and blond, shoulder-length hair; the girl is about 3-4 years old, about 1 meter tall.

- The man is not dressed like a tourist; he's wearing cream or beige trousers, classic cut, of linen or cotton. He is white, 30-35 yrs, 1.70-1.80 meters tall, average build, physically fit, short, brown hair, with a face that looks tanned.

- Images of Robert Murat begin to circulate around the world

- Back in Ireland, the Smiths watch the news and learn of Jane's statement and the suspicions falling upon Murat.

- The father contacts the Irish police. He tells his story. The man he saw was NOT Murat. He knows Murat and it was not him.

- The father is almost certain that the girl he saw was Madeleine.
- The Smiths are secretly brought back to Portugal. On Saturday, 26 May, in Portimão, Smith and his two children are interviewed.

- Their testimony is credible, but given the lack of light in the area, they can't identify the man who was carrying the child.

- The described the way he walked and carried her; this image is strongly fixed in their memory.
Chapter 21 - An Irish family in shock - pages 197-199

- Sept 2007, McCanns return to UK

- Gerry exits the plane, carrying his son against his left shoulder, the child's arms down along his sides, down the stairs and across the tarmack Gerry walks

- The Smith family see this recording on the news at 22h00 and are hit hard: they know this person, this way of carrying a child and of walking. It is Gerry McCann, they believe with a high degree of certainty, that they saw on 3 May at about 22h00, carrying a 4 yr old girl who appeared to be deeply asleep

- The father contacts the police to communicate this new information. He says he has not slept since 9 Sept and is very upset. It's as if he re-lived the night he saw the man carrying the child. Seeing Gerry walk and carry the child, awoke something in his head...

- Still not completely convinced, he watches the news again on ITV and also on Sky.

- No, there are no doubts. Gerry McCann looks just like the same person he saw carrying the child on May 3.

- Smith, upset and worried about what he saw and has concluded, needs the investigators to contact him.

- In late September, the Portuguese police receive this information from Smith. This appears to be a piece of the puzzle.

- Now Jane Tanner's insistence at seeing the abductor go the other direction makes sense, removing attentions from the way Gerry walked, in the direction of the beach. The man carrying a child didn't walk east towards Murat's house, but west in the direction of the Smiths.

- This puzzle piece allows the investigators to reconstruct what happened on that cold night of 3 May. The puzzle is almost complete.

- We make the decision to bring the Smiths back to Portugal. They will be heard, and in legal and procedural terms, will give their identification using televised images, since a personal identification [of Gerry] is out of the question.

- A reconstitution of that night, with the Smiths, is seriously considered.

- But the Smiths don't return to Portugal.

- The Portuguese police changed their minds after GA leaves the team; they decide to use the international request mechanism [letters rogatory]

- This leads to absurd delays

- In the meantime, rumours abound that strangers to the investigation have found about about this witness and his family and, supposedly, have tried to talk to Smith, though their intentions in doing so are unknown.

Maps and aerial views of the Smith's sighting

Map of Praia da Luz

Map of Praia da Luz
The McCanns' apartment was located on R. Prof. Agostinho da Silva - the Ocean Club swimming pool and the McCanns' apartment are clearly visible just below the road name on this map.
The sighting by the Smith family took place on R. da Escola, which is marked on this map - just below and to the left of the Ocean Club complex. The actual point of sighting was just below the final 'a' in the 'R. da Escola' road name on this map.

Map showing location of Smith sighting

Most likely route taken from Apartment 5A
This map marks in red the most likely route taken, if the man seen by the Smith family was Gerry McCann and the starting point was the McCanns' apartment.
It is possible that another route may have been taken - straight down the R. Primeiro de Maio and then right into R. da Escola - but that route would have increased the likelihood of being seen, being on a main road and presumably reasonably well lit.
The route above appears to offer the greater degree of privacy as it passes waste land, is not overlooked by apartments or houses and would presumably have been considerably darker than the main road.

The point at which the Smith family met with the man carrying a child

The meeting
This map shows the point at which the Smith family met and passed a man carrying a child.
The red line indicates the route of the man, the black line indicates the route of the Smith family, who were returning from Kelly's Bar.

An alternative route into R. da Escola

The alternative route
This is the alternative route into R. da Escola if the man had walked straight down R. Primeiro de Maio and then turned right.

Close up of R. da Escola

Close up of R. da Escola
This picture gives a close up of R. da Escola. The meeting took place roughly half way up this road.
The zig-zag building on the left can be clearly seen in the photograph reproduced from 'The Truth of the Lie' above.

Aerial view of possible routes

Aerial view of possible routes
This photograph shows the two possible routes to R. da Escola, if the starting point was Apartment 5A.
The red route is the route already indicated on the map above. The yellow route is the route taken by going straight down R. Primeiro da Maio and then turning right into R. da Escola.

Jane Tanner's sighting
5' 10" (25 May 2007)
5' 8" or 5' 9" (05 June 2007)
5' 7" to 5' 11" (09 June 2007)
5' 8" to 5' 10" (26 October 2007)
5' 9" (28 October 2007)
5' 6" (16 November 2007)
'probably 5ft 8in tall, he was taller than me but not 6ft and so between those two' (19 November 2007)
Hair that was short on top (25 May 2007)
Dark hair, parted to one side, slightly longer at the back (05 June 2007)
Dark hair (26 October 2007)
Black hair (28 October 2007)
'Hair.. the one thing that I remember a lot is the hair. He did seem to have quite a lot of dark, reasonably-long-to-the-neck hair' (19 November 2007)
White (25 May 2007)
Caucasian (09 June 2007)
Caucasian with southern European/Mediterranean appearance (26 October 2007)
'More local or Mediterranean looking'/'swarthy skin' (19 November 2007)
Top clothes:
Dark jacket (25 May 2007)
Dark jacket, slightly longer than a suit jacket (05 June 2007)
Wearing a maroon shirt (28 October 2007)
Heavy dark coat (19 November 2007)
Beige or golden long trousers (25 May 2007)
Light coloured trousers which may have been beige or mustard coloured (05 June 2007)
Camel-coloured trousers (28 October 2007)
'He was wearing quite a lot of clothes and that's one thing in hindsight again I think was quite odd because tourists when they're abroad, Brits abroad would always have cropped trousers or shorts or something, and he had a sort of a big heavy jacket and trousers on' (19 November 2007)
'He was dressed in that sort of smart casual way European people dress' (19 November 2007)
Medium (25 May 2007)
Slim (26 October 2007)
Dark shoes (25 May 2007)
Black or brown shoes (28 October 2007)
Carrying child:
'Carrying, sort of, across the body like that. I suppose in hindsight you'd probably think somebody would carry them more against the shoulder.' (19 November 2007)
Child's description:
'I could tell it was a child, and I could see the feet and... feet and the bottom of the pyjamas, and I just thought that child's not got any shoes on because you could see the feet.' (19 November 2007)
Child's clothes:
'the pyjamas had a pinky aspect to them so you presume a girl.'
Martin Smith's sighting
175 to 180 cm tall (5’ 9’’ to 5’ 11’)
Short, brown hair
Top clothes:
A darker top. The man is not dressed like a tourist
Cream or beige trousers, classic cut, of linen or cotton
Average build, physically fit
Not specified
Carrying child:
Carrying a child, with the head against his left shoulder and the arms hanging down alongside the body
Child's description:
Bare feet, pale skin typical of British and blonde, shoulder-length hair; the girl is about 3-4 years old, about 1 metre tall
Child's clothes:
Light coloured or pink pyjamas

Witness testimony of Martin Smith, 26 May 2007
Witness testimony of Martin Smith, 26 May 2007

Date of Diligence: 2007.05.06
Location: DIC Portimao



Map showing the location of the Smith family sighting
Map showing the location of the Smith family sighting

Witness testimony of Aoife Smith, 26 May 2007

Witness testimony of Aoife Smith, 26 May 2007



Witness testimony of Peter Daniel Smith, 26 May 2007

Witness testimony of Peter Daniel Smith, 26 May 2007


Local family may have seen missing Maddy, 06 June 2007
Local family may have seen missing Maddy Drogheda Independent

By Angela McCormick
Wednesday June 06 2007

A DROGHEDA family may have been the last people to see abducted four-year-old Madeleine McCann in Portugal.

The family is understood to have seen a child in the arms of a man on the night and at the time Madeleine was taken from her parents' apartments in Praia Da Luz.

They have reported the matter and recently gave statements to the Portuguese police.

The Portuguese police have asked the family not to speak to the press in case they compromise their investigations.

The family declined to give any details to the Drogheda Independent.

Portuguese police are convinced that the child, who vanished during a family holiday in the Algarve on May 3, was abducted.

A number of Drogheda-based families holiday in the nearby Estrela Da Luz apartments, part of a complex built by Drogheda man Gerry Fagan of Oceanico Developments.

'Estrela Da Luz is just around the corner from Praia Da Luz. Loads of Drogheda people go there. It is an absolute paradise,' said Jem O'Neill, a regular visitor.

Gerry McCann requests photos from Irish holidaymakers, 09 June 2007
Gerry McCann requests photos from Irish holidaymakers Gerry's blog (no longer available online)

09 June 2007, Day 37

Kate and I had a slightly busier day on the media front than expected. We did a short press interview for the Irish Sunday papers, mainly to thank the Irish for their fantastic level of support. We followed that with one for the British Sundays which is likely to be the last one we do for a while. We talked about our pain of not having having Madeleine for such a long time and for our need to grieve, which occurs mainly in private. We also talked about how after Morocco we will have to spend some time reflecting both emotionally, and also how best the campaign can be taken forward. What we want to ensure is that the campaign has a psoitive effect on finding Madeleine.

After this we headed down to Sagres which is the very most southwestern tip of Portugal. There is a very nice beach and we had lunch with the family.

After returning from the beach we did the Irish version of Crimewatch-'Crimecall'. There are a lot of Irish tourists in and around Praia da Luz and although the awareness of Madeleine's disappearance in Ireland is extremely high, we want to ensure that everyone is aware of the appeal and we want the Irish public to come forward with photographs of people who they do not know who were in and around Praia da Luz in the 2 weeks leading up to the 3rd May. The address to upload photographs is: to We have also asked for people to contact their local police if they have seen a man matching the description of the suspect carrying a child seen around the time of Madeleine’s abduction. He is 30-40 years, 1.70-1.80m (5'7"-11"), caucasian and was wearing a dark jacket, beige or mustard coloured trousers with dark shoes. No major news on the investigation front- we still believe it is just a single phone call away.

Drogheda family hit out over Madeleine case clue coverage, 08 August 2007
Drogheda family hit out over Madeleine case clue coverage Drogheda Independent
Wednesday August 08 2007
A DROGHEDA family who may hold vital clues as to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have hit out at media distortion of evidence that they have given to Portuguese police.
Maple Drive man Martin Smith, his wife and his children had just left the Kelly bar, which is located approximately 400 metres from the McCanns' apartment at the Ocean Club between 9.50-10pm on the night Madeleine disappeared.
They returned to Ireland the next day, and because the reported abduction times didn't originally match, they never had cause to examine their journey that night.
As it emerged that Madeleine was abducted around the same time, one of the family members had a flashback of the moment some time later and encouraged the others to jog their memory.
They remembered passing a man walking towards the beach with a child in his arms.
Other than his approximate height and the fact that he was wearing beige clothes they cannot be more specific than that. 'We are annoyed at how vague our description is,' said the family member.
The family contacted the Portuguese police and flew back over to give evidence.
However, contrary to media reports, Mr Smith had not seen chief suspect Robert Murat in a bar the evening that Madeleine was abducted. 'He definitely didn't see him on the night in question,' said a family member.
The family are also mystified at reports that he knows Mr Murat. 'They met once in a bar about two years ago. My dad would only know Mr Murat by sight,' said the family member. 'However, from what he knows, he can say that the man who was carrying the child was not Robert Murat.'

UK police communication re: Martin Smith's sighting, 20 September 2007
UK police communication re: Martin Smith's sighting, 20 September 2007
Processos Vol XIII
Pages 3996 – 3997 (in English)
Email from John Hughes to DIC Portimao, C.C. to Stuart Prior
20th September 2007
Subject: Fwd Smith family
From Lindsay Long to John Hughes
20th September 2007
Re – Smith family
Location : Portugal Out of Force Area
Origin: Mr Martin Smith Ireland.
Text: Reported that he had passed a male carrying a child in Praia da Luz the night Maddie went missing. Went and made a statement to Portugal police in Portimao on 26th May and returned to UK. Is saying that after seeing the McCanns on the news on 9th Sept when they returned to UK he has not slept and is worried sick. He states he was watching the 10 PM news on BBC and saw the McCanns getting off the plane and coming down the steps. He states it was like watching an action replay of the night he saw the male carrying the child back in Portugal. He states the way Gerry was carrying his twin triggered something in his head. It was exactly the same way and look of the male seen the night Maddie went missing . He also watched ITV news and Sky news and inferred it looked like the same person both times carrying the children.
Is asking a member of OP task ring him back. He was with group of 9 family and friends the night he saw the male in Portugal. He sounded quite worried and shaken whilst speaking to me.

Irish family's Maddie quiz, 03 January 2008
Irish family's Maddie quiz The Sun
From: VERONICA LORRAINE in Praia da Luz
Published: 03 Jan 2008
PRIVATE detectives hunting for Madeleine McCann are to quiz an Irish family who may have been the last to see her alive.
Martin Smith, his wife and children told cops they saw a man carrying a little blonde girl in Praia da Luz on the night Maddie vanished.
Investigators from the Metodo 3 agency hired by Maddie's parents Gerry and Kate are preparing to travel to Ireland to interview them.
The family, from Drogheda, Co Louth, believe they saw the man taking the sleeping tot down to the beach at the Portuguese resort.
The Smiths were leaving Kelly's Bar — 400 metres from the McCanns' apartment — between 9.50 and 10pm on May 3 last year.
They flew home to Ireland the next day, but when the times of Maddie's abduction were revealed, the family remembered seeing a man, 5ft 7in to 5ft 9in tall and dressed in beige, carrying the child.
Significantly the description matches that given by Jane Tanner, 37, a friend of the McCanns.
Mr Smith, who has already spoken to Portuguese cops over the sighting, said yesterday: "I'd talk to anyone to move this investigation on. I think about Maddie every day."
He added: "I found the Portuguese cops not to be the most efficient bunch."
His wife Mary, 59, said: "We saw a man carrying a blonde child. It was just such a normal thing to see in a holiday resort — we didn't think anything of it at the time."
The Sun reported on Monday how Metodo 3 — which is costing the Find Madeleine Fund £300,000 — plan to blitz Morocco after several leads pointed to the country.

Maddy: We saw abduction, 03 January 2008
Maddy: We saw abduction Daily Mirror
Paul Byrne in Praia da Luz
A family who may have seen Madeleine McCann being abducted could provide vital evidence in the search for the missing four-year-old.
The group saw a man walking towards the beach in Praia da Luz while carrying a child at the time Madeleine vanished, exactly eight months ago.
Portuguese police have taken statements from the family, who live in Drogheda, Ireland.
Now detectives hired by Madeleine's parents want to speak to Martin Smith and his family. The Smiths were leaving Kelly's Bar just before 10pm when they saw a man carrying a child 500 yards from the McCanns' apartment.
Kate McCann, 39, raised the alarm about her missing daughter at around 10pm.
The Smiths are thought to have described the man as white and 5ft 7in to 5ft 9in tall. His top clothing was obscured by the child. That description matches a suspect seen walking away from the apartment at about 9.15pm by Jane Tanner, a member of the "Tapas Seven" group of friends who were on holiday with the McCanns.
She saw a man carrying a child wearing pink pyjamas similar to those worn by Madeleine.
The McCanns' spokesman said yesterday: "Our detectives are being very methodical and I am quite sure that this family will be on their list."
The eight-month deadline means suspect Robert Murat, 34, hopes to be formally cleared today.

Maddie: Irishman provides dramatic new clues, 03 January 2008
Maddie: Irishman provides dramatic new clues Daily Mail (appeared in paper edition only)
EXCLUSIVE: Tourist met rude man carrying child in blanket on night Madeleine vanished
January 3, 2008
AN IRISH holidaymaker has spoken publicly for the first time of his disturbing encounter with a man carrying a child wrapped in a blanket on the night Madeleine McCann disappeared.
Now investigators hired by Madeleine's parents hope Martin Smith and his family can provide a crucial breakthrough.
Speaking from his home in Drogheda, Co. Louth, Mr Smith recalled the sighting, which is strikingly similar to one by a friend of the McCanns, Jane Tanner. In hindsight, the retired Mr Smith said, the mans rude behaviour should have aroused his suspicions.
He explained: "The one thing we noted afterwards was that he gave us no greeting.
"My wife Mary remembered afterwards that she asked him, 'Oh, is she asleep?' But he never acknowledged her one way or another.
"He just put his head down and averted his eyes. This is very unusual in a tourist town at such a quiet time of the year."
Their description of the barefoot child and the man, who wore beige trousers, echoes that of Miss Tanner, who said she saw a man carrying a sleeping child away from the McCanns apartment about 9.15pm.
Though the Smith family believe they met an almost identical man closer to 10pm, the coincidence prompted them to contact police after they returned to Ireland. Mr Smith said: "Luz is such a small place and so quiet, we felt a duty to tell police and let them decide if it was important."
Last night, McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said detectives from the Spanish agency Metodo 3 now hoped to speak to the family. "Metodo 3 is being very methodical, working through a number of people they think might be able to help them, and this family will be on their list."
On the night of the disappearance, Mr Smith was dining with his wife in the Dolphin restaurant in Praia Da Luz, where they are frequent visitors.
The couple were with their daughter Aoife, their son Peter and his wife Sile,as well as four grandchildren Tadhg, Cole, Aisling and Eimear.
All nine met the man holding a child but their recollection differs slightly from Miss Tanner's.
"In the image she gave, the man was holding the child forward in his arms. The man we saw had put the child over his shoulders. But Luz was very, very quiet at that time of the year and the likelihood of two young children being carried around like this is very small.

"Also, our timings are a bit different. She saw the man at 9.15pm. We say 9.45or 9.50pm and the sighting was only a five-minute walk from where the child was staying.

"I dont know if this information will help the McCanns. We kept interested in whats going on but we tried to avoid the limelight."
The father of six yesterday said the Irish family would do anything they could to help the McCanns find their missing daughter.
"We have not been contacted by the private detective hired by the McCanns, and have had no contact with the investigating police since May 26 last year.
"But anything we can do to help try to solve it, we will." Recalling the event she witnessed, Mr Smith said it was some time before the family realised they could be star witnesses
"We were out the night it happened. My son and his family were leaving on the Friday and we were going for a family meal. We went home about 9.50pm and we heard nothing at all about Madeleine McCann until the next day.
"I was taking my son Peter to the airport and on my way back, I heard that a kidnapping had happened in the village of Luz.
"We were looking at all the commotion on Sky News and we really felt quite helpless.
"We had two grandchildren with us at the time, aged four and five, and it had a terrible effect on them.
"They all wanted to sleep in the same room as us until we went home on the Wednesday.
"We were home two weeks when my son rang up and asked was he dreaming or did we meet a man carrying a child the night Madeleine was taken. We all remembered that we had the same recollection. I felt we should report it to the police.
"I rang the Portuguese police and they took a statement from me on the phone.Then they asked me to make a statement to gardai, which I did in Drogheda two weeks after the disappearance.
"Two days later, Leicestershire police got on to us and said they wanted to speak to all nine of us. But we felt there was no point dragging grand children and the whole lot out to Portugal so just my eldest son, Peter, and youngest daughter, Aoife, and I flew to Luz to make a statement.
"The police were fairly busy and the station was pretty typical. They didnt seem to be the most efficient police you ever came across but they are probably no different to police anywhere else. We were interviewed separately and told them what we saw, and showed them on the map where we met the man and child.
"We spent the whole day there from 10.30am to 7pm with an interpreter. That day, May 26 last year, was the last time we had any contact with the investigation.I remember clearly because it was my wedding anniversary.
"I told them we went for dinner at the Dolphin Restaurant and then went on to have just one drink in Kelly's bar, just 50 yards away.
"We would normally have stayed out longer but my son and his family were going home the next day.
"As we made our way back to our apartment in Estrella da Luz, we met a guy with a child that appeared to be asleep.
"It looked like a blonde child, and I thought she might be four years old, as she was the same size as my grandchild who was with us.
"It was around 9.55pm and it was getting dark and he was looking downward so I couldnt tell you exactly what he looked like.
"None of us was 100 per cent sure what he was wearing but we all told police he was wearing beige trousers and a darker top. We all put him in his early 40s. I didnt think he was Portuguese." Insisting he knew chief suspect Robert Murat visually for years, Mr Smith told police the person he saw carrying a child could not be him.
"I told police it was definitely not him because the man wasn't as big as Murat. I think I would have definitely recognised him."

Irish tourist clears Murat, 04 January 2008
Irish tourist clears Murat Sky News
John Kelly
First published: 04 January 2008
(Same article later republished with new headline: 'Missing Madeleine McCann: Irish Witness 'Clears' Murat', 12:00pm UK, Monday April 07, 2008 )
An Irish tourist who saw someone carrying a child in a blanket on the night Madeleine McCann disappeared insists that the mystery man was not Robert Murat.
Martin Smith, from Drogheda in Co Louth, was on holiday in Praia Da Luz with his family when they bumped into the man just before 10pm on May 3 last year.
The Smith family's suspicions were aroused because the man made no response when they asked if the barefoot child was asleep.
"He just put his head down and averted his eyes, which is very unusual in a tourist town at such a quiet time of the year," said Mr Smith.
Initially the Smith family thought nothing more of the encounter - and even the next day when the story broke they still didn't make the connection.
"We were home two weeks when my son rang me up and asked was he dreaming or did we meet a man carrying a child the night Madeleine was taken," said Mr Smith.
"We all remembered the same recollection, and I felt we should report it to the police.
"We've all been beating ourselves up that we should have made the link sooner, if only we'd remembered the next day. But the Portuguese police said you see these things on holiday all the time."
The Smiths did contact the Portuguese police once they had returned to Ireland, but say they have had no contact with the officers investigating the case since May last year.
"I rang the Portuguese police and they took a statement from me on the phone," said Mr Smith.
They asked me to make a statement to the Gardai, which I did, and two days later Leicestershire police got on to us.
"My eldest son, Peter, my youngest daughter, Aoife, and I then flew to Luz to make a statement. They didn't seem to be the most efficient police you ever came across - and that was the last time we had any contact with the investigation.
"I don't know if this information will help the McCanns, but anything we can do to help try to solve it, we will.
"We were looking at all the commotion on Sky News and we really felt quite helpless. We had two grandchildren with us at the time and it had a terrible effect on them - they all wanted to sleep in the same room as us."
But Mr Smith is certain that the man he and his family saw that night was not Robert Murat, who is still officially an "arguido" in the Madeleine McCann investigation.
"I told police it was definitely not him because the man wasn't as big as Murat - I think I would have recognised him because I'd met him several times previously.
He was wearing beige trousers and a darker top. We all put him in his early 40s and I didn't think he was Portuguese."
Mr Smith's sighting is similar to the one reported by Jane Tanner, a friend of the McCann family.
A spokesman for the McCanns said detectives from the Spanish agency hired to investigate the case are now hoping to speak to the Smiths.
Retired Mr Smith, 58, does not wish to appear on camera in order to protect his family from media intrusion.

Local family's anguish over 'Maddy' sighting, 09 January 2008
Local family's anguish over 'Maddy' sighting Drogheda Independent

Wednesday January 09 2008

Madeleine (4) vanished on May 3rd last while her family were on holiday in the Portuguese resort of Praia Da Luz.

The Drogheda family, who first spoke to the Drogheda Indpendent last August, say despite current media reports that they will be contacted by the detective agency hired by parents Gerry and Kate McCann to find the missing toddler, no one has been in contact with them. 'We are willing to talk to anyone but our information is vague. It cuts us up that we can't be of more help but what we saw is not going to crack the case,' Peter Smith told the Drogheda Independent.

The Drogheda family, Peter, his wife Sheila and their two children Tadgh (13) and Cole (6), along with grandparents Martin and Mary Smith, were holidaying in the same resort at the time of Madeleine's disappearance.

Returning from a night out the family saw a sleeping child in the arms of a man, on the night the toddler was taken from her parents apartment. 'It was our last night. We left the restaurant early because my wife, who was expecting our third child at the time was feeling unwell. On the way back to our apartment we saw a man walking down towards the beach with a child in his arms. It's a common enough sight in a holiday resort and we didn't think much of it. In fact it was only after we were home two weeks that I remembered seeing him. At the time my attention was focused on looking after my wife,' Peter, who lives in Greenhills, explained. 'When I mentioned it, it jogged my father's memory and he too remembered seeing the same man,' Peter added.

The family made a statement to the Gardaí who then contacted the Portuguese police. 'About three to four weeks after Madeleine disappeared we travelled back to Portugal and gave a description of the man in a statement to the police there,' said Peter.

Since then the family have heard nothing, from either the Portuguese police or the detectives agency Metodo 3, hired by her family to find Madeleine. 'We knew that what we had seen was so vague that we couldn't identify the guy. However we are willing to help in any way that we can if we are contacted,' the Drogheda man stressed.

Additional statement by Martin Smith, 30 January 2008
Cover note
Detective Branch
County Lough

Re – Investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

I took an additional statement from Mr Smith as requested. His wife does not want to make another statement. I showed him the video clip and he stated that it was not the clip that alerted him but the BBC news at 10 PM on 9th September 2007.

He has been contacted by numerous tabloid press looking for stories. He has been contacted by Mr Brian Kennedy who is supporting the McCann family to take part in a photo fit exercise. He has given no stories or helped in any photo fits. He sent a solicitor’s letter to six papers in relation material that was printed that was misquoted. The Evening Herald paid his solicitor's fees and all papers printed an apology. His photograph appeared in another tabloid paper and this matter is being pursued at the moment.

I do not believe that Martin Smith is courting the press and my view his is a genuine person. He is known locally and is a very decent person.

Forwarded please


L*** H****
Additional statement by Martin Smith, 30 January 2008
I hereby declare that this statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and that I make it knowing that if it is tendered in evidence I will be liable to prosecution if I state in it anything which I know to be false or do not believe to be true.

I would like to state that the statement I made on 26th May 2007 in Portugal is correct. The description of the individual that I saw on 3rd May 2007 carrying a child is as follows. He was average build, 5 foot 10” in height, brown hair cut short, aged 40 years approximately. Wearing beige trousers and darkish top maybe a jacket or blazer. He had a full head of hair with a tight cut. This individual was alone. I saw Gerard McCann (sic) going down the plane stairs carrying one of his children on 9th September 2007 BBC news at 10 PM, I have been shown the video clip by Sergeant Hogan which I recognise. A clip I have seen before on the Internet. In relation to the video clips of Gerard McCann and the person I saw on 3rd May 2007 when I saw the BBC news at 10 PM on 9th September 2007 something struck me that it could have been the same person. It was the way Gerard McCann turned his head down which was similar to what the individual did on 3rd May 2007 when we met him. It may have been the way he was carrying the child either. I would be 60-80% sure that it was Gerard McCann that I met that night carrying a child. I am basing that on his mannerism in the way he carried the child off the plane. After seeing the BBC news at 10 PM, footage on the 9th September 2007 I contacted Leicestershire police with this information. During that time I spoke to all my family members who were with me on the night of 3rd May 2007 about this and the only one who felt the same way as me was my wife. She had seen the video clip of Gerard McCann walking down the stairs of the plane earlier that day. We did not discuss this until some days later. This statement has been read over to me and is correct.

Irishman saw Gerry carry Maddie, 07 July 2008
Irishman saw Gerry carry Maddie Correio da Manhã
Final report - CM reveals everything about the investigation in an exclusive
07 July 2008 - 00h30
Thanks to 'astro' for translation 

Police files give McCanns 'hope', 05 August 2008
Police files give McCanns 'hope' BBC News
Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 18:35 UK
Other new information revealed in the files includes the account of one witness who reported seeing a man carrying a young girl with blonde hair on the night of the disappearance. He later told the police the man could have been Madeleine's father.
Martin Smith, 58, on holiday at the time, was interviewed by detectives in Portugal and his native Ireland but the line of inquiry was later discarded.
Four months after his initial statement Mr Smith contacted the police to say he had seen Madeleine's parents arriving back in Britain on BBC News, and the way Mr McCann carried one of the couple's twins reminded him of the man he had seen in Portugal.
When detectives replayed video footage of the couple's arrival at East Midlands airport, the witness said he was 60-80% sure that the man he passed was Gerry McCann.
But this was later dismissed by prosecutors because at the time of the reported sighting, shortly before 2200, Gerry McCann was sitting in the Ocean Club's tapas bar with other members of his party.

Drogheda businessman told police he saw Gerry McCann carrying a child towards the beach the day Maddie disappeared, 10 August 2008
Drogheda businessman told police he saw Gerry McCann carrying a child towards the beach the day Maddie disappeared The Irish Mail on Sunday (no online link, appears in paper edition)
10 August 2008
Father-of-six gave garda a signed statement saying he and his wife were ''60 to 80% sure'' that the man they saw holding the child was Maddie's father.

The claim, which was taken seriously by the Portuguese police, was made almost four months after Maddie disappeared on May 3rd this year.

Since then the McCanns have been totally exonerated of any involvement.

Mr. Smith had initally told police he had seen a man carrying a child that night, but that he couldn't identify him because he had not been wearing his glasses. The following September, however, the businessman saw clips of the McCanns returning from their holidays and said the footage of Mr McCann carrying his younger child had instantly reminded him of the mystery man.

''I would be 60 to 80% sure that it was Gerry McCann that I met that night carrying a child," Mr Smith said in his statement. ''It was the way Mr. McCann turned his head down that was similar... It may have been the way he was carrying his child.

''I am basing this on his mannerism, in the way he carried the child off the plane.''

Mr Smith's claim was passed to the Portuguese police who took it as more evidence in support of their mistaken belief that the McCanns had something to do with their daughter's disappearence.

Friends of the McCann family said last night that the decision of the Portuguese police to pursue Mr Smith's claims prove that they were determined to pin the blame on Maddie's parents come what may.

One said ''Look at the facts. This man sees an individual carrying a child on the night Madeleine vanished. He waits 13 days to report this to the police, going back to Ireland.

"The McCanns returning to England - It was this image that alerted Mr Smith in the meantime. At this stage he admits he has no idea who the man is, other than a basic description. A further three, almost four months go by before, after seeing him on television, he feels it could be Gerry.

''By now the police have dozens of statements putting Gerry back at the apartment complex at that time. Yet the Portuguese ask a combination of the Leicestershire police and the Garda to re-interview this witness. About what??

''And why? The truth is that this is part of the victimisation of Gerry and Kate which has gone on from the very beginning by the Portuguese,who were clearly desperate to get something against them."

The extraordinary saga began on the night of May 3rd 2007, as Martin and his wife, Mary, walked back from a local pub in Praia da Luz to their apartment with members of his family. They had decided to return to their apartment within an hour of dining out becasue their son, Peter, was catching an early morning flight the next day.

As they made their way back, they crossed paths with a slim man with a full head of chestnut coloured hair and dressed in beige trousers coming in the opposite direction.

It was 9.55 pm and the man was carrying a sleeping little blonde girl of about 4-years of age. The child's head was was resting on the man's left shoulder.

At this stage Maddie had already disappeared but the Smiths were unaware that a child had gone missing from PDL.

It was not until the following morning that a family member living in Ireland told them of Madeleine's disappearence. Mr Smith returned to Ireland six days after the litle girl went missing and it was another 2 weeks before he travelled back to Portugal to make a statement about what he saw that night.

In the statement to Portuguese police on May 26th, the grandfather -who wears glasses but was not wearing them at the night in question - said he would not be able to identify the man he saw.

Significantly though he was able to tell Police that the man was not Robert Murat, as he had met him on a number of previous occasions.

After making his statement, Mr Smtih returned to Drogheda and it was not until four months later that that he made contact with the police again.

This weekend, Mr Smith's wife Mary told the Mail on Sunday her husband had no regrets about coming forward.

He [Martin] doesn't want to talk, said Mrs Smith. He said what he had to say. I was with him [that night]. We saw a man carrying a child and that's all we know. We told them all that and that's it.

''The man he saw had the same stature as Gerry McCann. We felt we had to help. We're happy we did. We reported exactly what we saw.

"We only did what we thought was right for a missing girl and our hearts are breaking for her parents, as it would be if it were one of ours.

''I feel very much for them [the McCanns]. I have six grandchildren of my own and six children of my own.

"The poor McCann family must be heartbroken.''

My name is Maddie. They took me from my holidays, 19 August 2008
My name is Maddie. They took me from my holidays Público (no online link, appears in paper edition only)
By Andreia Sanches and Paul Torres de Carvalho
19 August 2008
Thanks to 'lisbonirish' for translation
Gerry was also in a "sighting" 
On 26 May, Martin Smith, an Irishman described by the Leicestershire police as a "decent" man who was not looking for fame, came to Portugal to give a statement to the PJ and tell them what he saw on the night of 3 May 2007, at around 10.00 p.m., in a street in Praia da Luz: a man carrying a child in his arms, with the child's head resting on the man's left shoulder.

The image he saw: a man approximately 175 to 180 cm tall (5' 9" to 5' 11"), 34/35 years old, short brown hair, and carrying a blonde girl wearing pyjamas "roughly four years of age", has never gone out of his head, he said.

On 20 September, the Irishman once again contacted the authorities. He was "distressed", going on to explain that when he saw the McCanns on the TV news on 9 September getting off the plane that had just landed in England, now as "arguidos" he sensed that he was witnessing a "repeat of the events of the night" on which he had seen the man "carrying the child back in Portugal". The way Gerry was carrying one of his children, Sean, whose head was resting on his shoulder, was "exactly" the same way the unidentified man in Portugal carried his child.

The PJ asked for more information. On 23 January Mr. Smith gave another statement to the police in Drogheda, Ireland. He repeated that he was 60 to 80 per cent sure that the man he had seen carrying a child in Praia da Luz was Gerry.

In the final report on the investigation, the PJ guarantee, however, that at the time Smith says he saw Gerry in the street, Madeleine's father was sitting at the table in the Tapas restaurant in the Ocean Club.

Kelly's bar
Kelly's bar
Kelly's bar

Photos from the PJ DVD files

The steps up from Kelly's Bar to the sighting

Location views of the Smith sighting

Location views of the Smith sighting

Location views of the Smith sighting

Key witness identified Maddie's father, 21 October 2013 
Key witness identified Maddie's father Correio da Manhã

Former PJ coordinator says Irish family saw man with child

Gonçalo Amaral reveals that key deposition was devalued at the time of disappearance

By Sara G. Carrilho
21 October 2013 01h00
With thanks to
Astro for translation

The McCann family

"The testimony of one of the members of the Smith family that identified Gerry McCann as being the man he saw on the night that Maddie disappeared, carrying a child in his arms as he walked towards the beach was devalued after I left the case. It is a lie that the e-fit that the British police now made public is based on the Smith family's witness statement."

The statements are from Gonçalo Amaral, the former PJ coordinator who investigated the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, to Correio da Manhã. They appear following the publication of e-fits by the Scotland Yard that point one of the drawings out as being that of the main suspect over the presumed abduction of the English child, on the 3rd of May of 2007 - which they say was based on the testimony of an Irish family that was on holiday in Praia da Luz when Maddie disappeared.

"The Smith family told us what they saw that night. A man, a foreigner, of athletic build, a sunburned face, like those of tourists, who was hiding his face in order not to be seen, carrying a blonde child in his arms," Gonçalo Amaral said. "A short time later, when the McCann family 'fled' to the United Kingdom, and were welcomed by the television at the airport, a member of the Smith family called us, very upset. Gerry [Maddie's father], who was leaving the plane, was the man that Mr Smith had seen carrying a child that night," the former coordinator explained.

For Gonçalo Amaral, "there was a positive identification, which was set aside". "The McCann's hired detectives who made a portrait, a man that resembled Gerry, in order to devalue the deposition," he concluded.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files


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