Philip Cairns has been missing for 20 years, but investigations are still ongoing. The 13-year-old vanished while walking back to school in south Dublin in October 1986. Every year, on the anniversary of his disappearance, his family make a fresh appeal for the public’s help in solving the case.
Philip’s younger brother Eoin was 11 when his only brother disappeared. He described how Philip was always in their minds:
“He was my best friend. We played soccer in our back garden, and with other boys on the road. Philip played hurling for a local team, and he loved to go fishing with my Dad.
“Philip is always there in the sense that he is not there. At Christmas, birthdays, weddings and other family occasions we think of how Philip should be with us.”
Police hope that advances in DNA will help them crack the case if they could have a positive lead. Six days after Philip’s disappearance, his schoolbag was found in a lane near his home, and advances in forensic scientist should enable them to know who handled the bag. It could have been a passer-by or another school child, the police – and Philip’s family – are desperate to know.
Unbelievably, sick hoaxers who knew of Philip’s disappearance have used Philip’s name when stopped by police in England and Wales. Other hoaxes have included a man pretending he had found Philip and was bringing him home.
But the family have never given up hope that one day the call will be genuine good news.
Like the McCann’s, Philip’s mother regularly goes to mass:
“I try to go to mass as often as I can. Without faith you wouldn’t be able to function or cope. It was something that you would always hope wouldn’t happen. You heard it happening to other people in other countries, but you don’t think it is going to happen to you.
“Although you would always be fearful that something would happen, like an accident, but I never thought for one minute that someone would kidnap Philip.”
In memory of those who are still missing.
Well done for widening the focus to all of the other children as well as Madeline. Heartbreaking stuff we all need to be reminded of. Thanks.
Thank you, it is very heartbreaking, all too real and a nightmare that never ends for these families.
Yes, heartbreaking indeed. It never even occurred to me that there are people so heartless as to give false hope in cases such as these. I admire the faith of these families – I am sure I should lose mine, if I had one, in these circumstances.
What a blast from the past… He is the same age as me, I remember it so clearly from RTE coverage, worried parents and children, just disappeared and no other similar cases, weird…
Simon, That’s an amazing coincidence. My hope is that one day one of my posts might jog someone’s memory and will help solve one of these cases.
I remember you from the Blogging4Business conference, hope you are well.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Philip Cairns. I was 2 years younger than Philip when he went missing and I remember it like it was yesterday. I have also opened an awareness page on myspace for philip in the hope that it might jog someones memory.
I really hope that someone comes forward because someone out there knows something.