Tuesday 24 October 2017

Anomalies emerge in claims of Cooke's link to Cairns

PAEDOPHILE: Eamon Cooke was a serial child abuser. Photo: Collins
PAEDOPHILE: Eamon Cooke was a serial child abuser. Photo: Collins
Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

Gardai have identified anomalies in an account given to them by a victim of paedophile Eamon Cooke that had implicated the paedophile DJ in the disappearance of schoolboy Philip Cairns.

The 13-year-old vanished on his way back to school in October 1986.

DISAPPEARED: Philip Cairns vanished on the way to school
DISAPPEARED: Philip Cairns vanished on the way to school

The woman victim made a formal witness statement in May that Cooke had picked up the boy and attacked him in his Radio Dublin studio.

The woman who made the statement was nine years old in 1986 and claims to have fainted when she saw the blood.

However, this weekend, sources confirmed that there were "aspects of the statement" that gardai have been "unable to reconcile".

Some of the anomalies are understood to relate to times and dates.

Last week, it was disclosed that DNA samples on Philip Cairns's bag did not belong to Eamon Cooke.

However, garda sources have said that Cooke has not been ruled out as a suspect, even though they have so far failed to establish any link between the Radio Dublin DJ and Philip Cairns's disappearance.

Cooke, who died in June, is believed to have confirmed when he was questioned in the hospice that the boy had been in his car.

Read more: 'Back to square one' - Gardaí find no forensics linking Eamon Cooke to missing Philip Cairns

Philip's schoolbag was returned to the laneway after his disappearance and gardai could never account for how it got there. They have been investigating whether one or more young girls may have been forced by Cooke to leave the bag there after he had buried Philip's remains elsewhere.

Hundreds of the DJ's documents, journals and other paperwork were released to gardai last week by Eamon Cooke's family and by the Prison Service.

The records include a large cache of cassette tapes and film, many of which date back more than a decade.

Cooke was known to film the children that he sexually abused. Victims who testified against Cooke in court told how he filmed them playing and then invited them into his home to view the footage.

Detectives will be examining Cooke's possessions not only for anything that could link him to Philip Cairns.

They will also be looking for evidence of crimes he may have committed against other children.

Read more: 'I worked with paedo DJ Cooke - we all knew he was dangerous'

The woman, who first contacted gardai in 2011, swore a statement in May this year, implicating Cooke, when he was dying in a hospice in Raheny. Cooke, a serial child predator, was serving out a sentence for child sex abuse.

"There were issues that arose when we went to confirm certain aspects of the statement," a source said.

The source said that Cooke remains under investigation.

"The investigation has gone in another direction. There are a lot of items to catalogue and go through, papers, documents, notes, journals, diaries and cassettes."

Sunday Independent

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