Philip's mother: 'You always have to hope'
The mother of missing schoolboy Philip Cairns has spoken of her 30-year wait for the truth - but admitted that she still does not know whether her son ever met paedophile Eamon Cooke.
Alice Cairns has broken her silence on the dramatic development, which has offered gardaí a fresh lead in a case that shocked the country in 1986.
A woman came forward with information suggesting that the convicted paedophile DJ Cooke killed Philip (13) in his studio.
Speaking for the first time since the revelations of the new line of investigation emerged, Alice told the Irish Independent she was not aware that Philip knew Eamon Cooke.
She said: "He never mentioned him (Cooke) and as far as I know, he didn't know him. I never saw him before and never heard Philip talk about him.
"He (Philip) had hardly ever been in the local record shop. He was just starting secondary school and left here to go back to school. After that, we just don't know still.
"I'm glad the gardaí are following any line of investigation because it shows they are determined to find out what happened. I'm open-minded about it.
"You're always hoping there will be something, a new lead, but then when it happens, you have more questions."
However, she added: "I would be concerned that if this new lead didn't amount to anything, then people might still think that the case is kind of closed. They might not come forward with information.
"The gardaí came to me a number of weeks ago and told us that they were examining a new line of inquiry, but they did not mention Eamon Cooke by name. The first day they went to him (Cooke), he said he knew Philip or had been in his company, but then when they went back again a second time, he denied that he knew him at all."
Gardaí told her they weren't sure if there was anything credible in the information.
Alice added: "You always have to have hope."