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Rebuttal of "Fact" 13

Page history last edited by Chinagirl 11 years, 7 months ago Saved with comment

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13. The McCanns, when asked a simple question as to whether they had given the children Calpol or other sedatives the night Madeleine was reported missing, denied on TV ever giving their children Calpol or other sedatives. But Kate McCann’s father confirmed that they did give the children Calpol.


Verdict - False.  The statement is a misquote of what was actually said. 

Source - TV Interview and Media articles 



Summary of Verifiable Facts


  1. The MMRG alleges that the McCanns "denied ever giving their children Calpol or other sedatives".
  2. The McCanns did not deny "ever" giving their children Calpol.
  3. The McCanns did deny giving their children Calpol during that vacation.
  4. The McCanns denied ever giving their child any sedative drugs.
  5. No member of the McCann family has ever contradicted no. 3 above.
  6. Calpol is not a sedative - it is an anti-pyretic, a combination of pain and fever relief.  It has no sedative properties whatsoever.
  7. It is common for parents to give their children Calpol for pain and fever relief. And it is freely available to buy over the counter and from supermarket shelves.




The MMRG didn't provide a source for their claims.  However, the statement in question was traced to a TV interview with Sandra Felgueiras.  


Transcript of TV Interview with Sandra Felgueiras

Here is a transcript of Felguiras' question and Gerry McCann's answer.  Note that the McCanns at this point were still subject to Portuguese secrecy law and were restricted in what they were permitted to say on threat of legal sanction:-



Sandra Felguiras: "In that evening, did you give to your kids something like Calpol to help them sleep?"


Gerry McCann: “You know we’re not going to comment on anything, but you know there is absolutely no way we used any sedative drugs or anything like that.”



Kate McCann's Statement on 6th September, 2007

In her statement, Kate McCann stated that she did not administer Calpol to any of her children during this vacation:-


When asked, she said that before they left she took some precautions, namely placed the medicine inside a bag with a clasp in her room inside the wardrobe or the dresser. These were Calpol(paracetamol) and Nurofen (ibuprofen), for fevers and pains, both for adults and children (packages in liquid for the children). In this bag there was also a small pair of scissors. In the kitchen were cutting items that were used to prepare the meals and which were not put out of sight. During their trips it was normal for them to take these medicines. During these holidays she never gave any medicine to her children, nor did Gerry. She now says that Gerry also took medicine for acidity called Losec (omeprozole) which they also possessed. 



Gerry McCann's Arguido Statement 7th September 2007

In his Arguido interview, Gerry McCann stated that did not administer Calpol to any of their children during their vacation:-


When questioned, he states that none of his children takes any kind of medication regularly in England.

--- When they travelled on holiday to Portugal they brought several medicines, namely Calpol, Nurofen, for fevers and pains, both for adults and children, Losec for gastric problems that he occasionally suffers from, and an anti-histamine called Terfenadine for hay fever.


He did not give any of these medicines or any others to the children while on holiday in Portugal. 



What Kate's Father Said - Primary Source

The McCanns did not denying ever giving their children Calpol and in fact they told the police that they had purchased Calpol to take on vacation with them.


In a TV interview, Kate's father, Brian Healy, spoke about Calpol.  Segment starts at 0.42:-


Reporter - Is it possible that Kate with her medical background, might have, wanted to help Madeleine to go to sleep that night?

Brian Healy  - Not at all.

Reporter - Even out of kindness, she certainly wouldm't have given her...

Brian Healy  - Not even out of kindness, I think they may have used Calpol like most mothers...nothing...it's just outrageous to even think about it. First and foremost was their kids.  They would’nt have done that. 


Mr Healy was not on vacation with the McCanns, but even still, in no way does this contradict the McCann's claims. 


Media Misreporting

To demonstrate how things get distorted in reporting, the above interview with Brian Healy was reported in The Sun on 7th September 2007 as:-


"Kate may have used Calpol (to help her sleep), but it's just outrageous to think of anything else." 





The MMRG have misquoted the McCanns suggesting that they denied ever giving their children Calpol. The televised interview proves that they said no such thing. Mr Brian Healy's comments do not contradict anything the McCanns have said.  


This subtle changing of words places a very different meaning on what was actually said.


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