'Philip Cairns Snr kept his dignity, but died not knowing why his son disappeared'
October 23 1986. It's a date that will be forever etched on my memory, the day that Dublin schoolboy Philip Cairns disappeared, a mystery which continues to baffle gardai almost three decades later.
I covered the case for The Herald and the search ran from days into weeks, into months, and sadly into years.
Indeed years later, I often called to the Cairns' family home on Ballyroan Road to visit Philip's mum, Alice, and many's the cups of tea she made for me in the family kitchen as we talked - usually at anniversary time - about the search for the missing schoolboy with the cherubic, innocent face.