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'I was thinking of Philip Cairns' mother'

Woman describes how she went straight to gardaí when she received information from one of Eamon Cooke’s victims.

A VICTIMS’ RIGHTS campaigner has described how she went to gardaí with fresh information which then led to Eamon Cooke being questioned over the disappearance of Philip Cairns.

Dublin woman Angela Copley told RTÉ’s Marian Finucane show today that she received a late-night call last month from a victim of the convicted paedophile.

Copley said that woman told her the name of another of Cooke’s victims, whom she said left 13-year-old Philip’s school bag in the lane.

philip The laneway from Anne Devlin Road to Anne Devlin Drive where the schoolbag was dumped.

“I received a phone call from a victim of Eamon Cooke who I have offered support to over the years,” Copley said.

She named the person to me. I’m not going to. I said to her, are the guards aware? I’m going to the guards with this. I hope this is the truth. She said it is and I believed her.

Copley went on to describe how she contacted gardaí with the information and eventually met with them.

Philip Cairns disappeared without a trace in the Rathfarnham area of the city on 23 October, 1986. He went to school like any other day and came home during his lunch break, but he never returned to school.

New lines of inquiry

On Friday it emerged gardaí are investigating fresh evidence from a witness who claims Cooke may have killed the child at his pirate radio station.

They questioned Cooke in connection with the disappearance before his death last week at a Dublin hospice. He is thought to have confirmed aspects of the witness statement, but refused to say where Philip was buried.

Cooke was serving a 10-year sentence for repeatedly sexually abusing two girls from January 1974 to May 1978.

Copley said she felt compelled to come forward with the information about the schoolbag for Philip Cairns’ mother.

The bag was found dumped in a lane near his house a number of days after he disappeared. It is expected to be examined for fresh DNA evidence

“We all feel for the Cairns family,” Copley said. “The only reason I made that phone call was that I was thinking of Philip Cairns’ mother. I didn’t think it would lead to all this.”

Read: Schoolbag of Philip Cairns to be examined for DNA evidence

Read: Convicted paedophile Eamon Cooke may have killed 13-year-old Philip Cairns – reports

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