Sun, 05 Dec 2021

DUBLIN, Ireland - Saturday marked the 35th anniversary of the disappearance of Dublin schoolboy Philip Cairns at the age of 13.

On Saturday afternoon 23 October 1986, Philip was walking from his home to his Christian Brothers school, Colaiste Eanna, in Rathfarnham, a southside suburb of the capital, when he disappeared.

Philip had returned home from school for lunch, leaving at 12:50pm. It was a short walk to his home in Ballyroan Road, Rathfarnham.

At 1.30pm, he gathered up his schoolbag and left his home to return to school. That was the last time his family ever saw of Philip.

Six days after Philip's disappearance, his schoolbag was found in a laneway near the school. This laneway links Ann Devlin Road and Ann Devlin Drive. Some of Philip's books were missing from the bag.

Philip was described as being 13 years of age, 5'2" in height, with short black hair. When last seen he was wearing his Colaiste Eanna school uniform, a grey jacket with black shoulder corners, grey school trousers, grey shirt, and school pullover.

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On Saturday, in observance of the 35th year of his disappearance, gardai made an appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

"There may be persons who may have information in relation to Philips' disappearance or Philip's school bag and for whatever reason did not come forward. Following the passage of time and changing circumstances these people may now be in a position to assist us," a statement from gardai issued on Saturday said.

"There may be persons, who were young at the time of Philip's disappearance and not in a position to provide An Garda Siochana with information, who may now be able to come forward."

"An Garda Siochana want to reassure anyone who comes forward that they will be treated sensitively and discreetly by investigating Gardai, Even the smallest piece of information, which may seem insignificant, may assist the investigation," the statement said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Rathfarnham Garda Station on 01 666 6500, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.

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