herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

'Find Philip now', say marchers 30 years on

Some of the hundreds of people who took part in the march to mark the 30th anniversary of Philip's disappearance
Some of the hundreds of people who took part in the march to mark the 30th anniversary of Philip's disappearance

Campaigners have marked the 30th anniversary of the disappearance of schoolboy Philip Cairns from his home in Rathfarnham, Co Dublin, with a solemn march.

Yesterday's anniversary saw the local community, who continue to search for answers in the case - a mystery that has never been solved - remember Philip, who was 13 when he disappeared, and the trauma his family endured.

Jenny McCudden, one of the organisers of the march, said the goal was to get justice for Philip.

"We want to get the gardai to work on information that they have recently received," she told the Herald.

Justice

"I don't think enough has been done. I think now is the time. He's 30 years missing. We need to get up now and find him."

Anne Cod, who has lived in the area since before Philip's disappearance, said: "Philip didn't get justice at the time. I think everybody here is looking for justice.

"From the beginning it was believed that Philip had run away from home and that he would be back."

Catriona Galster, from Templeogue, said Philip's disappearance needs to continue to be investigated.

"I don't think that a person should be allowed to disappear forever at 13 years of age. He didn't just disappear," she said.

New evidence came to light last June that suggested Eamon Cooke, DJ at a pirate radio station, may have been involved in Philip's disappearance.

Known as 'The Cookie Monster', the DJ was convicted of the sexual assault of young girls in the 1970s.

Cooke was accused of murdering the teenager by a woman who was a child at the time of Philip's disappearance. She claimed Cooke had known Philip and promised to show him the radio studio he worked in.

She claimed she was in another room when Cooke brought Philip to the studio and heard a row break out.

When she went into the room, she saw the teenager bleeding on the ground.

The sexual predator was interviewed twice by gardai before his death but never made any admission to the murder.

The march concluded yesterday, with the organisers delivering a petition, which was signed by more than 4,000 people, to Rathfarnham Garda Station.

Hope

Since Philip's disappearance, his father has passed away. His mother, Alice Cairns, still lives in Dublin and told the Herald last June that she hopes that the case will be solved. "You always have to have hope," she said.

"I would be concerned if this new lead didn't amount to anything, then people might still think that the case is kind of closed and they might not come forward with information.

"Then a person who might be really responsible for it [Philip's disappearance] might be more likely to get away," she added.

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