Gardai seal off area in search for Philip Cairns


Gardai in south Dublin have sealed off a wooded area in their ongoing investigation into the disappearance of schoolboy Philip Cairns nearly 23 years ago.

A Garda spokeswoman confirmed an area at Grange golf club in Rathfarnham had been sealed off earlier today for technical examination.

She said geophysicsts and the Garda Technical Bureau would be deployed and that the area would be excavated over the coming days.

The 13-year-old schoolboy went missing without trace on his way back to Colaiste Eanna secondary school from his home at Ballyroan Road at 1.30pm on October 23rd, 1986.

On the following Wednesday, the pupils of the school returned voluntarily to the school during their mid-term break to be interviewed by gardai.

In the afternoon, Philip's school bag was found by two schoolgirls in a laneway off Anne Devlin Road, Ballyroan, although the lane had been searched before this.

The bag contained some of Philip's books but his geography book and two religion books were missing. Forensic tests on the bag did not reveal any information, according to gardai.

Gardai, along with hundreds of local people and sub aqua divers were involved in searching rivers, lakes, forests and the Dublin mountains. There were over 400 reported sightings of the missing boy and all were followed up.

It is believed today's search results from new information received by investigating detectives, but that it is also just one of a number of lines of inquiry.

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