Derry couple due before family court in Portugal

A Co Derry couple are expected to appear before a family court in Portugal today after allegedly passing out drunk while in charge of their three children over the weekend.

The family had arrived in the Algarve for a family holiday on Friday afternoon and went out for dinner that evening.

However, when they returned to their hotel two hours later, it has been alleged that the father passed out on a sofa in reception, while the mother fell asleep at the bar.

The parents were taken to hospital and the children were temporarily taken into care before the family were reunited on Saturday.

The couple are not expected to face any criminal charges, but will have to answer questions before a specialised family court in Faro this afternoon.

SDLP councillor and a family friend of the McGuckian family Kate Langan defended them on 'The Breakfast Show with Claire Byrne and Ger Gilroy' on Newstalk 106 – 108FM this morning, however.

"From what I gather they there seems to have been an injustice done to this family," said Langan.

"The family spent the afternoon on the beach, contrary to reports that they had been drinking all day.

"They had dinner with their children. They called at a pool bar on the way home to play pool and they left there at 10pm and came back to the hotel.

"Now they, Antoinette particularly is not a drinker at all.

"She came back to the hotel, she felt violently sick and she told the staff that she was so. They called the emergency services because she was so sick and vomiting very badly.

"They called the emergency services, the manager said look, you go onto the hospital I will look after the children because they have a crèche there.

"The police arrived with the ambulance and I believe misinterpreted the entire situation."

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