Posters that will help the hunt for Maddy
Click here to download the poster
Published 15/05/2007 | 08:38
The Belfast Telegraph is today launching a poster appeal in a bid to enlist the travelling public in the search for abducted tot Madeleine McCann.
From this morning, posters of the pretty four-year-old youngster will be displayed at airports, banks, travel agents, post offices, tourist offices, hostels and pharmacies across Northern Ireland.
The campaign is being backed by Madeleine's aunt, Philomena McCann, and Crimestoppers has opened a phone line for the investigation into the tot's disappearance.
The aunt of missing Madeleine McCann last night backed the Belfast Telegraph's poster campaign in the hope that Ulster holidaymakers could help provide a vital clue in the hunt for the abducted four-year-old.
As the search fentered its twelfth day, Philomena McCann said she was delighted that efforts are under way in Northern Ireland to highlight the disappearance of her niece.
"All it takes is for one person to make a phone call with the right information to get her back home," she said.
"We want to keep her in the public eye and it's super that the posters are going to be displayed. At this stage we just don't know where she is. She could be just a few miles away or in a completely different country, so it's important that people going abroad, not just to Portugal, look out for her."
Mrs McCann said that she intends to meet Tony Blair this week to discuss her family's plight and ensure that efforts continue to locate Madeleine.
"Sometimes it is so hard not having any information but we are trying to keep positive," she said.
"It's like you are being hit by mini tidal waves all the time and it is especially hard when you are sitting on your own when you feel an immense sadness.
"If this is how we are dealing with it as adults, imagine how wee Madeleine, as a scared wee four-year-old, must be feeling.
"I'm speaking to Madeleine's parents a couple of times a day and they just don't know when they will be coming home. How can they? She's their little girl. It's so hard for them because they are spending all day with the police and then trying to get home in the evening to spend some time with the twins."
The campaign aims to target all Ulster people intending to travel abroad and the posters, which include a photograph of the pretty youngster and a close-up shot of her two eyes, urge holidaymakers to contact Crimestoppers if they believe they have any information.
Hundreds of the leaflets and posters will be on show at Belfast International, George Best Belfast City and City of Derry airports from today.
A spokeswoman from the International Airport said staff there share the concern of everyone regarding the disappearance of Madeleine.
"If we can help in any small way to bring Madeleine home then we are happy to do so," she added.
Brian Ambrose, Chief Executive of George Best Belfast City Airport, said: " We will be putting up posters of Madeleine McCann around the airport as part of the campaign to help find the missing four-year-old.
"We would encourage travellers to look closely at the photos, showing Madeleine's distinctive right eye, as they pass through the airport."
The posters will also be displayed in premises such as the Northern Ireland Passport Office, banks and post offices across the province to highlight the case to people applying for travel documents.
Even shoppers buying suntan lotion and medication ahead of their summer holidays will be reminded to keep an eye out for Madeleine, with branches of McKay Pharmacy and Gordons Chemists agreeing to display the posters in their shops.