Schoolbag of Philip Cairns to be examined for DNA evidence

Gardaí believe they may know who killed the 13-year-old schoolboy in 1986.

THE SCHOOLBAG OF Philip Cairns will be examined for DNA evidence as new lines of inquiry are being investigated in the case of the 13-year-old who went missing in Dublin nearly 30 years ago.

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.

It’s understood that last month a woman came forward claiming to have new information about the disappearance.

RTÉ is reporting that convicted paedophile Eamon Cooke may have killed the child at his pirate radio station. The woman is claiming that she was with Cooke on the day that Cairns was abducted.

Before his death last week, gardaí spoke to 79-year-old Cooke at a hospice in Dublin where he was receiving palliative care.

He is thought to have confirmed aspects of the statement, but refused to say where Cairns was buried.

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

Dry schoolbag found on wet laneway 

Almost a week after Philip went missing, his schoolbag was found in a laneway that links Anne Devlin Road and Anne Devlin Drive.

Philip’s geography book and two religion books were missing from the bag. The bag was apparently bone-dry, despite being found in a wet laneway, which begged more questions.

This schoolbag will now be examined for DNA evidence that may prove central to collaborating the woman’s claims.

download The laneway from Anne Devlin Road to Anne Devlin Drive.

Speaking to last year, Philip’s younger brother Eoin recalled how the dry bag was found in a spot that was very visible:

It had been raining that day, it was placed in clear sight in a place where there was a lot of footfall.

“In that regard, considering where it was found, we thought it was the big breakthrough.
We were kind of thinking, ‘This could be it, we could find him.’

“We were thinking he could be back in his bed that evening. It was a case of waiting – but that hope that he would be found dissipated and weakened over time.”

Over 400 sightings of Philip were reported after he went missing and all of them were followed up.

In a statement last night gardaí said, “At this point in time these new lines of inquiry have not yielded positive results, however the investigation is very much active and ongoing.

“These lines of inquiry include interviewing people and cross referencing DNA profiles with those on items recovered as part of this investigation.”

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

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