Friday 30 September 2016

Gardaí hope Cooke's death will help other victims to come forward now

Martin Grant

Published 16/06/2016 | 02:30

Superintendent Peter Duff said the new information resulted in 160 fresh lines of inquiry being opened. He appealed for anybody with information to come forward. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Superintendent Peter Duff said the new information resulted in 160 fresh lines of inquiry being opened. He appealed for anybody with information to come forward. Picture credit; Damien Eagers

Victims of convicted paedophile Eamon Cooke who were terrified while he was still alive have been urged to come forward with information that might help solve the disappearance of Philip Cairns.

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A woman provided a crucial lead in the 30-year-old case last month when she came forward with new information.

But she only did so when notorious paedophile Cooke was on his death bed as she was absolutely terrified of the disc jockey.

Gardaí last night would not confirm if Cooke was now the main suspect in the disappearance of the 13-year-old Dublin schoolboy - but they do believe that more people have vital information which could help them solve the horrific case.

Superintendent Peter Duff said the new information resulted in 160 fresh lines of inquiry being opened. He appealed for anybody with information to come forward.

"At this point in time, these new lines of inquiry are ongoing," said Supt Duff. "The investigation is very much active and I would like to thank those people who assisted me in this investigation so far.

"From our inquiries, I believe there are people who were young at the time who may have information in relation to Philip's schoolbag and for whatever reason did not come forward.

"I am conscious that due the passage of time and changing circumstances, these people may now be in a position to assist. This may be playing on their minds. I'd ask these people to now come forward."

Read more: 'Large number of people' come forward about potential leads in missing Philip Cairns case

The detective gave an assurance that people with information would be treated "sensitively and discreetly".

He said gardaí believed Philip's schoolbag may hold the key to solving his disappearance.

"From our inquiries, I believe there are people who were young at the time who may have information in relation to Philip's schoolbag and for whatever reason did not come forward.

"We are anxious to hear from anybody who may have knowledge of how the schoolbag came to be in the laneway, who may have seen it being put there or who observed it there at any time. For the sake of Mrs Cairns and her family, who have been suffering for 30 years, it is important we bring this investigation to a conclusion," he added.

Supt Duff could not "confirm or deny" if those who he would like to come forward were connected to Cooke.

Irish Independent

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