Widow Eileen – the mother of Madeleine’s heart specialist dad Gerry – said shortly after her granddaughter was snatched in 2007: “When I lost my husband John two years ago I thought that my world had collapsed.
Eileen McCann passed away aged 80 last month just weeks before German police broke bombshell news that they believe Madeleine is dead and are investigating a new prime suspect over her abduction and murder.
Eileen McCann said in 2007 that having her granddaughter go missing was “10 times worse” than losing her husband John two years before the child disappeared in Praia da Luz, Portugal
The former shop assistant and cleaner from Glasgow, who spent many months in Portugal’s Praia da Luz supporting and comforting her devastated son, daughter-in-law Kate and their toddler twins Sean and Amelie after the kidnap, said at the time: “As long as they don’t find her body, I’ll never give up hope. When we do finally get her home she’ll have so much love and hugs from us all.”
Madeleine McCann ‘s grandma has tragically died from coronavirus, her family has revealed.
Along with other family members Eileen was a stalwart for launching a global campaign to keep Maddie’s disappearance in the global spotlight and find her abductor.
“But losing Madeleine is 10 times worse.”
Heart doctor Gerry and ex GP turned medical worker Kate, both 52, of Rothley, Leicestershire, are understood to have attended Eileen’s small funeral amidst Covid-19 social distancing restrictions in St Coval’s, East Renfrewshire.
Eileen’s wish and that of Kate’s parents retired joiner Brian and former teacher Susan Healy from Liverpool, was for them all to learn the fate of their adored grandchild before their own life’s end.
A source close to the couple said: “It is yet another tragedy for the family and people who know them will be very sorry to hear.”
Kate’s uncle Brian Kennedy, also from Rothley, said: “We do not wish to comment on private family matters.”
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said today: “The family will definitely not be commenting on a private family matter.”
Mum-of-five Eileen, who hailed from Donegal, Ireland, was a driving force along with two of her three daughters Philomena and Tricia and son John in campaigning to find Madeleine.
She and family members were happy to conduct media interviews to help keep the youngster’s disappearance in the media headlines in a bid to track down her kidnapper.
She said: “There is no way they carried her out of there without her awakening. If she was taken when she was sleeping by somebody she did not know, she would have screamed the place down.”
She had previously told of her belief that her “hyperactive” and inquisitive granddaughter was drugged to stop her screaming out before she was snatched.
Three-year-old Maddie had been left sleeping alone with her younger twin siblings while her parents were dining in a nearby tapas restaurant with pals whilst taking it in turns to make half-hourly checks on the kids.