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Gardai to search for will in hope 'Cookie Monster' confessed to killing Philip


Philip Cairns, who went missing in 1986 at the age of 13

Philip Cairns, who went missing in 1986 at the age of 13

Serial paedophile Eamon Cooke in his radio studio

Serial paedophile Eamon Cooke in his radio studio


Philip Cairns, who went missing in 1986 at the age of 13

Gardai will try to establish if serial paedophile Eamon Cooke left a will in case he confessed to the murder of Rathfarnham schoolboy Philip Cairns.

Cooke - known among his victims as the "Cookie Monster" - has been identified by two women as a suspect in the murder of the 13-year-old in 1986.

He died earlier this month in a hospice, while still serving a sentence for sexually assaulting young girls during the 1970s.

On his deathbed, Cooke was told by gardai that he had nothing to lose by leaving details of what he knew about Philip Cairns' disappearance.

He was advised to confide in a solicitor, a priest or family member, or write down the details of the location of a body in a letter to be opened after his death. However, it seems Cooke opted to take his secret to the grave.

In the coming days, gardai will try to establish if Cooke made a will, which they want to examine in case he made a confession of any kind, a source said last night. Gardai are also keen to speak to any victims of the prolific abuser who may have been too frightened to come forward before now.

"We would appeal to these people who would have been children when Philip went missing on October 23, 1986 to come forward," a senior source said.


"Eamon Cooke abused very many children who were so terrified of him that they have never come forward. Now that he is dead and they see the 30-year nightmare that has been endured by the Cairns family, these people may be in a position to come and talk to the gardai," the source added.

Officers believe that the information they received in the past month from the woman has provided the most compelling and credible lead in the three-decade investigation.

The woman, who was aged nine at the time and was also one of Cooke's victims, told gardai that she witnessed Cooke killing the schoolboy at his radio studio in Inchicore, west Dublin.

Another lead emerged when community worker Angela Copely told gardai that another woman, who was also a victim, had revealed to her that a girl was given Philip's schoolbag to leave in the laneway near his home by Cooke. Cooke has admitted knowing Philip Cairns and confirmed the boy had been in his radio studio when detectives interviewed him on May 11 last.

Reports that the pirate radio station owner had property leased in remote locations, including in Dublin, have prompted gardai to try to locate those properties. They plan to interview ex-Radio Dublin employees who worked for Cooke and check property records.

Meanwhile, locals in the Rathfarnham area said yesterday that Philip would "never be forgotten".

"I hope he [Cooke] rots in hell, if he's responsible which he looks like he is. I wish they could have got him before he died because he got away far too easily," one woman told the Herald. "Everyone in the whole area was affected. He was only a baby, only out of sixth class and gone into first year. It was every parent's nightmare, I don't think he'll ever be forgotten."