Philip Cairns, a 13-year-old schoolboy, disappeared on the afternoon of the 23rd October 1986 while walking back to local secondary-level school, Coláiste Éanna in Rathfarnham, Dublin, after his lunch break. He never returned to school and has never been found after more than 36 years.
A large-scale investigation was carried out but no physical trace of Philip has ever been found. His disappearance has long been treated as a high-profile child murder case, the only similar incident in Ireland being the murder of young Robert Holohan (11 years) in January 2005 and Philip’s case remains one of the most high-profile disappearances in recent Irish history.
Across almost 37 years, Philip's family have issued numerous appeals for information. A reconstruction took place in 2007 and was later televised on Irish TV network, RTÉ One, while a reward of €10,000 has also been offered.
The book, When Heaven Waits by Emma McMenamy, published in 2007, featured an interview with Philip's mother, Alice. Nobody has ever been arrested and the case remains open.
Radio Espial's Mick Rooney takes a close examination of the case.