Irish News

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Search for missing schoolboy extended

Tom Brady Security Editor

Published 20/05/2009 | 00:00

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Gardai clearing undergrowth in the grounds of Grange Golf Club in Rathfarnham, Co Dublin, yesterday during their search for the remains of Philip Cairns

Gardai have resumed their search for the body of missing schoolboy Philip Cairns on the grounds of Grange Golf Club in south Dublin.

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Officers excavated a small wooded area in the grounds of the in Rathfarnham course earlier this month as a result of information supplied by an elderly woman that she remembered seeing freshly dug earth in that location around the time that Philip disappeared.

But the search ended after a few days without any breakthrough.

However, renewed contact from the woman's family has resulted in the search area being extended by about 50 metres.

The area was cleared of vegetation yesterday in preparation for today's detailed examination of the ground by garda forensic experts and a team of geophysicists using specialist equipment to determine soil movements.

The latest search is expected to be completed before the end of the week.

The case of 13-year-old Philip Cairns has baffled detectives since he vanished on his way back to school from his home in Rathfarnham after his lunch break on October 23, 1986.

He was last seen alive at Ballyroan Road in Rathfarnham. He left Colaiste Eanna secondary school at 12.45pm to go home for lunch and began the walk back to school at 1.30pm.

Philip was not seen again and a week later his schoolbag was found by two girls in a laneway near the school, which connected Anne Devlin Road to Anne Devlin Drive.

Gardai were satisfied that the bag had been left there in the previous couple of days and that the area had been fully checked shortly after Philip was reported missing.

The bag contained some of his books but his geography book and two religion books were missing. A forensic examination of the bag failed to yield any clues.

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