Madeleine disappeared from a holiday apartment in the Algarve on May 3 last yearMadeleine McCann's grandmother has attacked her own daughters' decision to leave her three children alone in their holiday apartment on the night the three-year-old vanished.
Kate McCann's mother, Susan Healy, admits she is totally astonished that she thought it was safe to leave Madeleine and their two other younger children unsupervised.
She has revealed that she asks herself again and again why their whole group, the so-called Tapas Nine, all believed it was fine to go out for dinner without their children.
Just days ahead of the one-year anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance, she vents her frustration, saying: "I could shake all of them, every single one of them."
In an interview with the Liverpool Echo, she admits: "I can read articles that say Kate and Gerry should never have left their children and I can accept that.
"You find yourself over and over again in your head thinking: 'Why did they think it would be all right?' "Why did they think - all of them - it was OK to do this?
"I think they were misled into thinking it was OK - but there was no CCTV, no security. There is this acceptance among couples with young children, like Kate and Gerry and their friends, that these are good resorts and safe environments."
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Astonished: Madeleine's grandmother, Susan Healy, with her husband Brian. She has admitted she cannot believe Kate left her children alone on the night she vanished
But she also defends them, insisting that they must have believed their children would be safe before deciding to go out on their own.
"I understand Kate and Gerry and the others ate in a restaurant without their children. It's something we had to address and Kate and Gerry have had to address it every single day," she says.
"But at the end of the day they thought they had taken adequate provision . . . no one looks after their children better than Kate and Gerry. That's why it's so amazing they can be in this situation."
Despite her frustration at the "Tapas Nine", the 62-year-old describes their vilification in the press as "awful" and says their lives will never be the same.
"This is a group of friends who have all suffered a terrible trauma," she said. "They all did the same thing and what happened could have happened to any one of them. It's changed all their lives."
She also claims her family being dubbed "Team McCann" had made them seem like an "organisation without feelings".
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Kate and Gerry McCann have admitted they feel guilty about going out for dinner on the night Madeleine disappearedOf the damaging headlines, she says: "Every time it happens it's like a slap in the face. You have to stop to think 'Do these people not know what they are doing?' - not just to us, but to other people."
While most people have been kind, there have been a "small minority" who have shown a different side since last May and some have even sent threatening letters to her and her husband, Mrs Healy reveals.
She begs that people do not lose sight of what the family wants above all else - for Madeleine to be found.
"Remember what this is all about - a little four-year-old child who was loved and cherished and cared for," she pleads.
"She was the greatest gift anyone in our family ever had. She is somewhere and she may be frightened and unhappy."
Reliving the night of May 3rd, she tells how her son-in-law rang her up at around 11.30pm to say Madeleine had been taken.
"He said something like 'It's a disaster'. I was grappling to understand 'disaster'. "His next words were 'Madeleine has been abducted from her bed in the apartment'.
"I said 'No, Gerry' and he said 'Sue, Sue'. He reiterated it in a strong way. I asked him 'Where were you?'"
She added: "We just sat all night and then went to Portugal the next day. I didn't know what day it was - some people packed my bags for me and the police drove us to Manchester Airport.
"I remember, after we got to the hotel complex, looking at the little paddling pool and all the children there. I was thinking 'This time yesterday, Madeleine was playing there'."
Her husband, Brian, adds that he will never forget laying eyes on his devastated daughter that day.
"I remember Kate's first words to me - I'll never forget them. She said: 'She'll be so frightened.'"
His wife said: "I don't know who I hugged first, but I'll never forget how Kate and Gerry were that day - they were absolutely wailing."
Five months later, to her parents' disbelief, Kate McCann and her husband were made official suspects in the case.
Madeleine's grandmother recalls: "Gerry did ring to warn us that they were likely to be made arguidos - I think it was a few days before. I nearly had a dicky fit. I was amazed and angry. Very angry.
"They had told the police they were going to come home. I think that moved things on for the police and they told Kate and Gerry they wanted to question them again.
"But their attitudes had changed before then, when the British police and dogs went out. When they were made arguidos I placated myself, never believing that anyone could think they were responsible for Madeleine's disappearance.
"Some people, though,, picked up on certain things, despite it being a ridiculous situation. "They centered in on anything negative."
The family are bracing themselves for the one-year anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance this Saturday.
She disappeared from their apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3 during a family holiday to the Algarve resort.
Her parents were at a restaurant with their friends 40 yards away but had returned to the flat during the night to make regular checks.
They are not returning to Portugal at the weekend and plan to stay at their home in Rothley, Leicestershire.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-562756/I-shake-daughter-Tapas-7-leaving-Madeleine-says-Kate-McCanns-mother.html#ixzz142QxtP2p