Gardaí begin new dig for missing boy


GARDAÍ ARE expected to spend the rest of the week digging at a site in search of the remains of Philip Cairns, the 13-year-old boy who disappeared in 1986.

A section of the site at Rathfarnham, south Dublin, was partially excavated earlier this month but nothing was found.

However, a team of gardaí went back to the area at Grange Golf Club, Whitechurch Road, at lunchtime yesterday and began a second period of searching.

The operation is more extensive than that carried out at the site at the start of the month, which lasted three days.

Gardaí were acting on intelligence supplied by a Dublin woman who believes the schoolboy was killed and that he was buried at the site.

The Irish Times understands information from the same source has redirected gardaí to another part of the site about 50m from the patch of ground searched earlier this month.

The area is a wooded spot off the golf course. It was cleared of growth yesterday to enable a full examination and search of the soil.

The schoolboy was last seen on the Ballyroan Road in Rathfarnham on Thursday, October 23rd, 1986. Despite extensive searches in the aftermath of his disappearance, no trace of him has been found.

He had left Coláiste Éanna secondary school at 12.45pm and returned to his home on Ballyroan Road for lunch. At 1.30pm, he left his home to return to the school, but never arrived.

Philip’s schoolbag was found the following week in a laneway which links Anne Devlin Road and Anne Devlin Drive, near the school.

Gardaí, along with hundreds of local people and sub-aqua divers, were involved in searching rivers, lakes, forests and the Dublin mountains.

There were more than 400 reported sightings of the missing boy, and all were followed up.

The Irish Crimestoppers Trust has offered a €10,000 reward for any information that could solve the mystery of the boy’s disappearance.