Ian Begley and Emma Nolan
The case of missing Rathfarnham boy, Philip Cairns has developed in recent days following the death of Clondalkin paedophile Eamon Cooke.
Sources have revealed to The Gazette that five years ago two women reported to gardai that they saw Philip Cairns under Templeogue Bridge a week after he went missing.
This rumour has not been confirmed, it does however link in with the fresh details that have emerged surrounding his disappearance.
The 13-year-old vanished as he was walking home from school at lunchtime in on October 23 1986.
Hundreds of sightings of Philip were reported over the years but no trace of the schoolboy has been found.
A woman, who had contacted gardai in 2011, came forward with new information in May which saw gardai open new lines of enquiry into the case. She said that Eamon Cooke may have killed the child at the studios of his pirate radio station.
Philip’s schoolbag was found dumped in a laneway just yards from his home in Rathfarnham by two schoolgirls six days later.
The advance in the case came last month when the woman, who was nine years old at the time of the incident, told detectives that Cooke had knocked the schoolboy unconscious after hitting him in his studio.
Gardai believe that the woman was terrified to give information while Cooke was still alive, but when she found out he was on his deathbed, she spoke more freely.
Gardai interviewed Cooke before he died where he admitted that Philip had been in his radio studio in Inchicore but he did not admit to killing him.
Other former victims of the notorious paedophile will be traced by investigating gardai regarding the disappearance of the missing schoolboy.
In a statement, gardai said: “We would appeal to these people who would have been children when Philip went missing on October 23, 1986, to come forward.
“Eamon Cooke abused very many children who were so terrified of him that they have never come forward. Now that he is dead and they see the 30-year nightmare that has been endured by the Cairns family, these people may be in a position to come and talk to the gardai.”
Gardai are also trying to trace the location of a property in south Dublin that Cooke used to site a signal repeater for his pirate radio station Radio Dublin.
Officers will interview former staff at Radio Dublin and examine land registry documents in a bid to trace the property, which Cooke leased more than 30 years ago.
The investigation will also focus on three separate DNA samples found on the schoolbag. They will be cross-referenced with Cooke’s DNA, which is stored on a database in Garda HQ.