On Friday 23 Oct 1986, Philip left Colaiste Eanna Secondary School at 12.45 P.M. and returned to his home on Ballyroan Road, for lunch. He left the house at 1.30 P.M. and walked back to school but never arrived there. www.missing.ws
On the following Wednesday, the pupils of the school returned voluntarily to the school during their mid term break to be interviewed by the Gardai. In the afternoon, Philip's school bag appeared in a laneway off Anne Devlin Road, Ballyroan, Dublin. It was found by two school girls. The lane had been searched before this. The bag contained some of Philip's books but his Geography book and two religion books (Christian Way 1 and the Good News New Testament) were missing. Forensic tests on the bag did not reveal any information.
A very extensive search operation was organised by the Gardai and hundreds of local people and sub aqua divers were involved in searching rivers, lakes, forests and the Dublin Mountains. There were over 400 sightings reported and all were followed up. The Cairns family also persuaded the Milk companies to distribute posters of Philip during their deliveries.
On each anniversary of Philip's disappearance, the media carried appeals for information. In 1999 his case was the subject of an episode of the RTE TV Programme "Solved and Unsolved"
Investigations to date have been unsuccessful in providing any clues as to what happened to Philip or as to his whereabouts. To this day his disappearance remains unsolved. Philip's case is also featured on the Doe Network and the Canadian Missing Children's websites.
Someone out there knows what happened to Philip. It is time that he or she come forward. Contact the Garda Confidential Phone Line at 1-800-666-111, Interpol, or any Police Station.
The Irish Crimestoppers Trust is offering a 10,000 euro reward for any information which could solve the mystery of Philip's disappearance.
Your information could end the nigtmare. Your silence makes it worse.
Anybody with information should call Crimestoppers at 1800 25 00 25.
See the missingkids.ie website for an age progressed photo.
Please click here to print and display a poster of Philip Cairns
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