tip-off | 

Photo of Madeleine McCann found in suspected paedophile's Donegal house sparks alert

When officers burst into the property they found a photo of Maddie on the wall
Maddie McCann disappeared during a family holiday

Maddie McCann disappeared during a family holiday

Stephen Maguire

The discovery of a large picture of missing Maddie McCann at the home of a suspected paedophile in Co Donegal sparked a major alert in the case.

Officers raided the remote home of the suspect after a tip-off recently.

However, officers were left stunned when they burst into the house only to find the picture of the missing child on a wall in the house.

Gardai contacted Interpol to inform them of the discovery.

Checks were then made in a bid to determine where the suspect in the Donegal case was when little Maddie went missing in the resort of Praia da Luz in Portugal on May 3rd, 2003.

Maddie's disappearance sparked one of the biggest missing persons cases ever but no trace has ever been found of the child.

However, after checks officers were satisfied that there was no connection with their suspect and missing Maddie.

A Garda source said there was no way their suspect could have been in Portugal at the time Maddie disappeared.

The source said "It was a full-scale operation as we were fearful the suspect would destroy any potential evidence we were trying to gather before we arrested him.

"However, nobody was prepared for the picture of Maddie McCann in the house. It was very unusual to say the least considering the circumstances.

"We had to make all the relevant checks but are satisfied that this suspect had nothing to do with that particular case."

It is understood a genuine reason was given by another person in the house for the picture of the missing child.

Gardai did remove a number of items from the house following the raid including a laptop computer.

A man has appeared in court in relation to the Garda raid.

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