Experts examine site for sign of body


GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING the disappearance of schoolboy Philip Cairns 23 years ago were examining a possible burial site at a south Dublin golf club yesterday.

Gardaí sealed off a wooded area of Grange Golf Club in Rathfarnham on Wednesday, after they received a new lead.

A team of geophysicists and experts from the Garda Technical Bureau as well as local gardaí were working on the site yesterday.

The examination involved searching for evidence of past soil disturbances. It is understood that digging of the site did not begin yesterday but excavation is to begin over the next few days.

It is understood a woman has told gardaí she recalled seeing a grave-shaped mound of earth at the site at about the time the schoolboy disappeared. Sources said while it was possible the missing teenager’s remains could be at the site, the dig was being treated as a precautionary one.

The 13-year-old 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 school bag was found in a laneway, which links Anne Devlin Road and Anne Devlin Drive, near to the school, the following week.

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 which could solve Philip’s mysterious disappearance.