Monday 26 September 2016

'Back to square one' - Gardaí find no forensics linking Eamon Cooke to missing Philip Cairns

Published 04/08/2016 | 13:20

Philip Cairns was in first-year of school when he disappeared. Inset: Eamon Cooke is now the suspect in his disappearance
Philip Cairns was in first-year of school when he disappeared. Inset: Eamon Cooke is now the suspect in his disappearance

Gardaí have not been able to forensically link convicted paedophile Eamon Cooke to missing schoolboy Philip Cairns.

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The 13-year-old schoolboy vanished on his way home from school in Rathfarnham 30 years ago.

His schoolbag was later found abandoned in an alleyway and DNA taken from this bag was compared with that of 79-year-old convicted paedophile Cooke who died in June.

However RTE is now reporting that the DNA samples do not match.

Eamon Cooke
Eamon Cooke

Detectives are, however, continuing to pursue over 160 lines of inquiry since a woman told them last May that Cooke attacked the child in October 1986 in his pirate station Radio Dublin.

The woman, who was a child at the time, made a statement to gardaí.

She claimed that Cooke picked up Philip in his car and brought him to Radio Dublin in Inchicore.

In her statements she said that she saw Cooke strike the boy there and that he may have killed him.

Gardaí interviewed Cooke at a hospice in Dublin before his death and aspects of the woman's statement were corroborated but he denied killing the boy.

DNA samples were analysed by Forensic Science Ireland but so far no match has been found with Cooke.

A number of people have come forward to gardaí with information since their initial appeal and, despite the forensics results, it is understood that Cooke has not been ruled out as a suspect.

However gardaí have again reissued their appeal for help cracking the 30-year-old case.

A source said: "At the moment it feels like gardaí are back to square one. But they will continue regardless."

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