Most people believe that Philip Cairns was abducted while walking from home back to school, the Crime in Mind investigative team have a radical and different view, they believe Philip did not intend to go back to school that day….
Philip Cairns, missing since Friday, October 23rd, 1986
DOB: 1st January 1973
Origin: Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin
- went home for lunch every day; the walk took 15 minutes
- family and Philip himself known to be very religious
- very quiet boy who wasn’t known for being “adventurous”
Laneway between Anne Devlin Park & Anne Devlin Road where his bag was found
Route taken to school by Philip – click here.
On Friday, October 23rd Philip Cairns vanished on his walk back to school. Philip was one of six children; four sisters Mary, Sandra, Helen & Suzanne and one younger brother Eoin. His grandmother, May Cairns, was living with the family at the times of his disappearance. When Philip came home for lunch at about 1pm that day, his grandmother and two of his sisters were also in the house. He looked in on his grandmother after doing some outstanding homework. She was the last person to hear or see Philip alive when he called out “Cheerio Gran, I’m off” when returning to school that day.
Nothing was said to be out of the ordinary about Philip that day. He didn’t seem depressed, he was dressed as normal and hadn’t taken any extra money with him when leaving the house. His father noted that there was some change on his bedside table and also money elsewhere in the house which he could have taken, had he been planning to run away.
After Philip was reported missing, all vacant and derelict properties in the area were checked, along with hospitals airports and bus stations; but nothing turned up.
Six days after Philip disappeared, two 18 year old girls (Orla O’Carroll & Catherine Hassett) found Philip’s schoolbag in a laneway leading from Ann Devlin Road to Ann Devlin Drive. It was about 7.45 in the evening. Catherine Hassett said she remembered passing through the laneway the previous day and not seeing anything. The bag was in plain sight when discovered. Also, although the strap was a bit wet, the main body of the bag was dry with its contents in tact, despite there having been rain during the 6 days since Philip’s disappearance.
Strangely, when the bag was discovered, some of Philip’s books were missing; a geography book and two religious text books. A search at home confirmed they weren’t there either. Other than no other trace of Philip was ever found.