Thursday 19 January 2017

McCanns' pain doesn't justify censorship effort

Ridiculous claims need to be rebutted, not suppressed. That's the real tragedy, says Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 17/01/2010 | 05:00

No closure: Gerry and Kate
McCann
No closure: Gerry and Kate McCann

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, as Kate and Gerry McCann have discovered to their cost.

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It only takes five minutes on the internet to uncover a web of rumour, half truth and innuendo which would convince even the couple's most fervent supporters that they are hiding something about the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine in Portugal in May 2007, or, worse, that they actually killed her, either by accident or design, and then concocted the story of her abduction from a holiday complex in the Algarve to cover their tracks.

Which version one chooses to believe is a matter of personal taste. When it comes to outlandish conspiracy theories, there really is one for everyone in the internet's global audience of nutters, giving ever greater credence to the old line about a lie getting round the world before the truth gets out of bed. But if you're on the receiving end of it, like the McCanns and their friends, you certainly don't expect the police to add fuel to the fire.

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