herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Father died almost 28 years after son vanished

A DAD, whose schoolboy son went missing almost three decades ago, has been laid to rest without ever finding out what happened to him.

Philip Cairns snr passed away peacefully at Tallaght Hospital, surrounded by his family on Sunday, following an illness.

Around 200 mourners at Holy Spirit Church, in the family's home of Rathfarnham were today told of Mr Cairns love of fishing at a ceremony yesterday.

They were also told about how he used to joke with his children about how he'd lost part of his arm "in a shark attack."

Former justice minister Alan Shatter was among those in attendance.

Mr Cairns had campaigned relentlessly to find answers after his son disappeared while walking back from school in 1986 in Rathfarnham.

Mr Cairns died, just three months shy of the 28th anniversary of his son's disappearance.

He is survived by his wife, Alice and five of their six children, Mary, Sandra, Helen, Suzanne and Eoin.

Philip (13) disappeared on the afternoon of 23 October 1986 while walking back to his school, Colaiste Eanna, where he had been a first year student for just over a month.

Local Fianna Fail councillor John Lahart said the death would be felt very much by the people of the area.

hnews@herald.ie

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