Statement from Antoinette and Eamon McGuckin

Mr & Mrs McGuckin would like to take this opportunity to redress their situation as of yet they have not clarified the matter from their perspective.

They would like to highlight the following points:-

On Friday, contrary to various reports, Mr & Mrs McGuckin did not consume excess alcohol when they went to the restaurant for their meal. They left their apartment at 7pm and went to the play park beside the restaurant where they stayed until 7.30pm. They then arrived at the restaurant where they ordered their meal and had their first alcoholic drink of the day. They moved onto the communal area where they played pool with other guests from the resort. The amount of alcohol they consumed between the hours of 8pm and 10pm would not have been sufficient to render them incapable of being responsible parents.

They returned to the hotel before 10pm. Antoinette became violently ill on arrival at the foyer of the hotel and required assistance from the Management. Eamon arranged with the Hotel Management to care for the children whilst he would accompany Antoinette to the hospital. Hotel Management agreed to this until the parents returned. The parents left with the paramedics in the belief that once Antoinette's condition was established and treated they would return to the hotel to their children.

The official report from Loule Health Centre confirms that Eamon was conscious, orientated and helpful with staff whilst his wfe was unconscious. The British Consulate had requested a full report from the Health Centre upon the instructions of the couple. This full report informed that there had been tests carried out for blood pressure, pulse and blood sugar count. Upon Antoinette gaining consciousness at 4.45am, Eamon contacted Health Centre reception in order to arrange transport back to the hotel as they were very anxious to be re-united with their children as soon as possible. Health Centre Medical staff removed drips from Antoinette before discharge.

On return to the apartment block at 5am they could not ascertain the whereabouts of the children until 6am. A member of staff informed them that their children were safe in a home in Faro, but no action could be taken until 8am when the Hotel Manager would be available. The parents both went to the Hotel Manager at 7.45am who informed them that as a result of Paramedics being called the Police also had been called. The Police informed Hotel Management that the children would have to be taken into Protective Custody. The Hotel Manager informed the couple that they needed to contact the Police to gain access to their children. Upon this news the couple immediately booked a Taxi to the local Police station arriving at 8.30am. They were waiting there until 9.30am until they met the Commander who informed them that the address of the children's whereabouts in Faro and that he would have it arranged that a fax from the appropriate authorities would be received by the Home by 11.30am for the immediate release of the children.

Both parents immediately proceeded to the Refugio Aboim Ascensao arriving at 10.30am. At reception, they were informed that they could not see their children or have any access to them until 4.30pm. The parents distressed by this news demanded to see their three children with staff detailing that there was nothing that could change. They repeated the information gave to them from the Commander at the Police. The staff were unaware of this news who again stipulated that 4.30pm would be the time when the children could be seen. Both parents told staff that they would be back at 11.30am to collect their children.

On arrival back to the Refugio Aboim Ascensao they were left waiting for a period of twenty minutes before Dr Luis Villas-Boas, Director of Refugio Aboim Ascensao, met with them. This was the first and only meeting that the couple had with this gentleman. The couple were brought into his office and advised that the children were in good condition. He stated that the press had been in contact with him and asked if they had any contact with the media also. The parents informed the Doctor that their main concern was the children and not what stories the press were printing. There had been no previous meeting with this gentleman. The parents collected their children and returned to their apartments.

At the swimming pool that Saturday afternoon whilst playing with the children, the couple were approached by two members of the GNR Police Force who requested a mobile number for any future contact. The couple had no mobiles with them on holidays and it was agreed that any information needed could be transferred via hotel reception. The Police stated that from their perspective the matter was closed and advised that they were free to travel with the children and leave the country if they so wished.

The couple spent the day poolside, playing with the children believing that this was the conclusion of events. On Sunday the couple decided to take their children to the beach via the direct transport from the hotel. On return from the beach at approximately 4pm on the Sunday the family were met by the Hotel Manager stating that a press presence had established themselves in the area because of the events of Friday and also parallels being drawn with the anniversary date of the McCann's story. The family hurriedly left reception to return to their room to protect their children from the media. The next time they were to leave would be in the early hours of Tuesday morning to return home.

Contact was made with the police on Monday late afternoon to ensure that there was no further need for the family to stay within the country. The police confirmed this and upon this news the couple initiated plans to get their family home. Flights were booked for the Tuesday. At 7.30pm, two GNR Police Officers contacted the couple at their room notifying them to attend Faro Court at 3pm the following day. It was clearly stated that it was not obligatory to attend although they were strongly recommending a presence whether it was one or other of the parents. The couple contacted a Portugese Lawyer and a Portugese Judge via a third party, to confirm the best course of action and were told to take the already booked flight home as this was not in any way going to break any Portugese Law. The parents informed the Court in Faro that they would not be attending.

Notes from the Parents

We, Eamon & Antoinette McGuckin are deeply saddened and hurt by the events of the past days. We live and breathe for our children and would never ever place them in any kind of danger.

We hope that this traumatic experience is now closed as we want to get back to our normal routine of loving our beautiful children and getting on with life.

We will not be participating in interviews and would therefore appreciate that we are left in peace with no further media coverage.


Further to this, we would refer you to comments left on the skynews website from another holidaymaker staying in the complex:-,,30200-1315051,00.html

hi i never ever usually comment publicly but myself and my husband were in vilamoura last week annd actually got in to the lift with the father of these children between 6.30 and 7 on friday evening as we were heading out,he seemed a smashing bloke and on the way out he and his wife and children walked behind us,lovely children very clean,the couple did not look as though they had been drinking then,we saw them again an hour or so later and i would not say they were binge drinking,not at all,the father and son i believe were playing pool,i think they left the pub just before we did at around 9,it did concern me as to what did cause them to become they way they did,by the time we got back to the apartments it was the talk that they had been taken away to hospital,i would be the last person to agree with any one binge drinking with children,it was our first break abroad in 20 years after bringing up 3 sons but i do feel they were not binge drinking not at all

Posted by cathy leeds from leeds

this is my second message today and i do not as stated previously ever comment or leave messages on here never have but i would like to say to all of you calling this couple WE WERE THERE AND THEY WERE DEFINITELY NOT BINGE DRINKING,it does not make sense from the time they left the bar to arriving at the apartments to become so ill.i am obviously taking more interest after speaking with the father on the way out so please do not judge,it makes me so angry and very upset to think this couple could even loose their children, it is a disgrace there is something more to this

Posted by cathy from leeds