Portugal couple blame the heat, not the drink, and skip court for home

After a gruelling dawn flight, Eamon and Antoinette McGuckin were looking forward to a relaxing family holiday with their three young children. But instead of a quiet week in the Algarve sun the McGuckins became identified with the reckless activities of middle-class British parents abroad.

Yesterday the couple fled back to Britain hours before they were due to appear in court after allegations that their children were taken into protective custody after they had fallen into drunken stupor. In Northern Ireland friends and family puzzled how this respected bank manager and his glamorous wife ? described as model parents who rarely drank ? became embroiled in an international incident.

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