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An Irish couple are key to a major campaign to find those responsible for the 2007 disappearance of toddler Madeleine McCann from a Portuguese resort. Photo by: AP

Irish couple key witnesses as British police launch new enquiry into Madeleine McCann case

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An Irish couple are key to a major campaign to find those responsible for the 2007 disappearance of toddler Madeleine McCann from a Portuguese resort. Photo by: AP

An Irish couple will feature in a major campaign on British television on Monday to find those responsible for the 2007 disappearance of toddler Madeleine McCann from a Portuguese resort.

Drogheda couple Martin and Mary Smith have provided key evidence to a new investigation by British police into the McCann case.

New computer generated images of  a man the Smiths say they saw carrying a young girl through a side-street in the resort of Praia da Luz at the time Madeleine vanished are to be broadcast on BBC television on Monday night.

The Irish Sun report that the computer e-fits of the prime suspect were composed from statements and descriptions given by two members of the Smith family.

Drogheda man Martin was holidaying on the Algarve with his wife Mary, daughter Aoife, son Peter and other family members at the time Madeleine disappeared.

They have again told police of their experience on the night in question when they saw a man carrying a young girl, three or four years old and in a deep sleep, down a street in the seaside resort.

Martin has told the BBC programme that the man was carrying the child along the middle of a deserted side street in an uncomfortable position with her head slumped against him.

The report says she had pale ‘typically British’ skin, blonde shoulder-length hair and wore light coloured or pink pyjamas which match the description of those Madeleine was wearing that night.

The Smiths gave descriptions to Portuguese police two days after the disappearance but no e-fits or sketches were ever produced until now.

The man described by the Smiths is now the central figure in a new gallery of potential suspects to be released by English police’s Operation Grange inquiry into the case.

The images will be broadcast in a special edition of BBC One show Crimewatch on Monday night.
Madeleine’s mum Kate told the programme: “We’re not the ones that have done something wrong here.

“It’s the person who’s gone into that apartment and taken a little girl away from her family.”
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said: “The e-fits are clear and I’d ask the public to look very carefully at them.”

The Irish Sun reports that one image shows the suspect square-jawed and chubby-faced. In the other he is leaner.

A Scotland Yard police spokesman said: “It’s two different people’s version of the same suspect.”
The Smiths saw the man at around 10pm, around the same time that Kate discovered Madeleine was missing from the family’s apartment.

The BBC programme, which is also to be broadcast in Germany and Holland, features a full reconstruction of the events in Praia da Luz on the night Madeleine disappeared.

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