Predator Eamon Cooke 'used popular DJs to lure victims to his studio'
Published 28/06/2016 | 06:42
Paedophile Eamon Cooke was always surrounded by children in his Radio Dublin studio and likely used his stable of unknowing and popular Radio DJs as "magnets" for new victims, it has been claimed.
Former colleagues of Cooke - who was known as Cookie Monster to his victims - have spoken out to paint a disturbing picture of the prolific child abuser in a new TV3 documentary to be aired tonight.
Gardai have been taking a renewed look at the predator after two women came forward separately linking him to the disappearance of Philip Cairns in 1986.
Philip was just 13 at the time. He left his Rathfarnham home to return to school after a lunchbreak, but was never seen again.
It has now emerged that one woman, who was a child herself at the time, has said that she saw Cooke attacking Cairns in the Radio Dublin studio.
Another woman has said that Cooke bullied one of his victims into dumping Philip's schoolbag in an alleyway near his home six days after his disappearance.
- Read more: Philip Cairns case: A disappearance still hanging over us 30 years on
- Read more: Gardai widen Philip Cairns search to five sites
The question of whether Cooke could be involved in the case, which has been the subject of a garda probe for three decades, was posed to a number of people who knew him or who worked on the investigation.
James Dillon, ex station manager at Radio Dublin, was one of the first to discover that Cooke was abusing children.
He heard from a 14-year-old that another child (9) had been abused by Cooke. He urged her to get a recording of the youngster re-telling the story.
Mr Dillon was extremely concerned to hear the allegations. "If it was true, the DJs of the station were being used as a type of magnet to bring in children for abuse basically," he said.
The recording was captured and it was then passed on to a local priest who informed the family.
A police complaint was never filed but it alerted Cooke's Radio Dublin colleagues to what was happening in his Inchicore studio.
They staged a walkout and set up a rival station, forcing Cooke to deny the allegations and abuse live on air.
Mr Dillon also believes that Cooke could have used a similar tactic to lure quiet schoolboy Philip into his car.
"I think he could have used the station as a magnet and said something [to Philip] as simple as 'would you like to come and have a look at the station, it's not far from here?'," he said.
The vile paedophile - who was described as "smelly" and unkempt by his former workmates - had ample opportunity to meet new children, kids who were keen to get close to their radio idols.
- Read more: Girl (9) was in Cooke’s car when he picked up Philip
- Read more: 'Vile, evil' Cooke 'had it in him' to kill
"Sometimes it felt like a bit of a creche in there. There was a lot of kids, they'd come in their school gear," ex-DJ Stuart Clark said. "I do remember going in one day at about 5pm or 5.30pm and there was two or three, I'd say 14 or 15 year-olds, in their convent outfits and one of those I know Cooke regularly took home in his car."
Two ex-colleagues, Mr Dillon and Don Moore - who was known to his listeners as Doctor Don - recalled instances when Cooke threatened to kill them.
Mr Moore said that nothing surprised him about Cooke anymore. "I would feel that if Philip Cairns is a victim of Eamon Cooke, he is probably not the only one," he said.
Retired detective inspector Gerry O'Carroll described Cooke as a "wicked, evil, manipulative, sociopathic predator".