Sunday 25 September 2016

Gardaí can't link DNA on Philip Cairns' bag to paedophile Cooke

Ken Foy

Published 05/08/2016 | 02:30

Schoolboy Philip Cairns
Schoolboy Philip Cairns

Notorious paedophile Eamon Cooke has not been ruled out as a suspect in the disappearance of Philip Cairns despite his DNA not being found on Philip's schoolbag which was found near the boy's home.

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DNA samples were analysed by Forensic Science Ireland but no match has been found with Cooke who died in a hospice in June while serving a ten-year sentence for sex abuse offences against young girls.

Paedophile Eamon Cooke. Photo: Colin Keegan / Collins
Paedophile Eamon Cooke. Photo: Colin Keegan / Collins

Philip was aged just 13 when he disappeared as he returned to school after having lunch in his family home in Rathfarnham on October, 23, 1986.

The only trace ever found of the boy was his schoolbag which showed up in a nearby laneway about a week later.

Gardaí have been investigating whether one or more young girls may have been forced by Cooke to leave the bag there after he had buried the boy's remains elsewhere.

Cooke, a pirate radio DJ who was found guilty of 42 counts of sexual abuse in 2007, was nicknamed the 'Cookie Monster'.

He became linked to the sinister Philip Cairns case when a woman told gardaí that she saw Cooke kill the schoolboy at his radio studio in Inchicore.

She told detectives that she was at the radio studio and saw Cooke strike the schoolboy with an implement.

When she went into the room, she saw the 13-year-old boy bleeding and unconscious. She passed out shortly afterwards.

The woman told this to gardaí in Terenure in May when she gave a detailed statement to officers.

The woman's detail of events is still being treated as credible.

"Cooke is still being investigated in relation to this case but there has been nothing yet to link him with it," a source said last night.

Gardaí are still examining a number of items which they have seized which were owned by Cooke. These include diaries, documents, letters and tapes.

Detectives interviewed Cooke twice in the weeks before he died and he admitted knowing the missing schoolboy but did not admit to murdering him.

In an interview with the Herald in June when the revelations about Eamon Cooke became public, his mother Alice Cairns said she didn't think her son knew the late convicted paedophile.

"He never mentioned him and as far as I know he didn't know him. I never saw him before and never heard Philip talk about him," she said.

"Philip was only sort of getting into music but he wouldn't have been that involved that he would be going to radio stations.

"He'd hardly ever been in the local record shop. He was just starting secondary school and left here to go back to school. ­After that we just don't know still.

"You're always hoping there will be something, a new lead, but then when it happens you have more questions."

Philip's father, Philip senior, died a number of years ago before the mystery of his son's vanishing could be solved.

Meanwhile, Eamon Cooke owned several plots of land in remote parts of the Dublin/Wicklow mountains, but also in rural Ireland.

It was previously revealed that gardaí are to examine five properties in counties Dublin and Sligo in a bid to find the remains of murdered schoolboy.

Irish Independent

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