Cast A Paul Over The Story


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Paul Reynolds, crime correspondent, RTÉ News

RTÉ News chose to lead on the Philip Cairns case again today.

The station’s Crime Correspondent Paul Reynolds spoke to Áine Lawlor on News at One about ‘new developments’ in the case.

Some may feel these new developments bear similarities to the new developments announced last Friday night by Mr Reynolds.

Ms Lawlor began their discussion by asserting that gardaí had made a link between Philip Cairns and convicted paedophile Eamonn Cooke and then asking if this assertion was a correct one.

A small tay.

Paul Reynolds: “Yeah, they’ve confirmed new lines of enquiry have opened up after the woman came forward. Now, Gardaí were in contact with this woman since the appeal on the 25th anniversary of Philip’s disappearance in October of 2011. Now she was clearly still very traumatised and she was a 9-year-old child at the time. The gardaí kept in contact with her, they reassured her, they worked to build trust with her and they waited until she felt that she could come forward and make a statement.”

“And that happened last month and we know that, in that statement, she told them that convicted paedophile Eamonn Cooke had struck the 13-year-old boy with an implement at the pirate radio station, Radio Dublin in Inchicore. And that she wasn’t in the room at the time but that she’d went in and seen Philip Cairns lying unconscious and bleeding on the floor. That she fainted and when she woke up she was in a car, being driven by Cooke.”

“Now the Gardaí, the woman told the Gardaí that Cooke knew Philip Kerins and had promised to take him to visit the radio station. They still don’t know exactly how Eamonn Cooke got to know the child but at that time, you know, it was apparently a regular occurrence for Eamonn Cooke to visit the radio station, Radio Dublin.”

“And there is a context for all this as anybody who was around at the time will know Áine, I mean broadcasting was a huge interest at the time. People who owned and worked in pirate radio stations were stars. There was huge glamour, fame and celebrity surrounding pirate radio and thousands of people – adults teenagers and children – were fascinated by radio, much as they are by the media today.”

“And many wanted to work in radio. So it wasn’t really unusual for children to be interested in this. And not unusual for Eamonn Cooke to take advantage of that, to abuse children. And when he was questioned on his deathbed about Philip Cairns, by the Gardaií, he refused to tell them directly, or through an intermediary – a solicitor or a priest – where Philip’s remains are but he did, I understand, indicate to the Gardaí that he did know the child.”

Lawlor: “And of course Philip’s mother has spoken about her hopes again. In terms of trying to track him down because this obviously must be a priority for the gardaí is to try to give his family some certainty and closure on this. Are they appealing for more information – do they have further lines of inquiry?”

Reynolds: “Yeah, I mean they did confirm [transmission cuts out briefly before continuing]…this afternoon they’re to give a number of new lines of appeal in relation to specifically other people who may have been at either location. Now the locations are the Ballyroan Road – when Philip was on his way back to school, the place where he’s believed to have disappeared from. And then subsequently, six days later, the laneway where his schoolbag is found. And also they’re seeking information about Eamonn Cooke and his movements at the time. Was he in that area at the time? And also his movements in and around Radio Dublin, the radio station at that time and indeed people who were there and who may have seen children coming and going at the time.”

“Now, specifically as well, now what they will do this afternoon is commend the victim, the victim was only nine years of age at the time and the Gardaí say it’s perfectly understandable that victims of violent, dangerous, serial and recidivist abusers take some time to come forward with information. Many victims only come forward after their abusers have died and can do them no further harm. And Eamonn Cooke was, to many people, a frightening figure, a convicted paedophile who had abused children at that time. So the Gardaí say, as part of this appeal, they want to work and build trust with others who may have information and still might be afraid to come forward.”

Lawlor: “Ok, Paul. Thank you very much indeed for that.”

Listen back here

Yesterday: Philip Cairns And A Trail Of Disinformation

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28 thoughts on “Cast A Paul Over The Story

  1. Tish Mahorey

    RTE should really be moving their correspondents around different briefs every few years so that they don’t become too comfortable with the people they are supposed to be objective about.

    But of course, that’s not RTE’s goal is it. RTE’s goal is to maintain the illusion of a normal democracy.

    1. Kieran NYC

      Well I can see their reasoning. It lets the person build up expertise and knowledge in a certain area. You wouldn’t want a novice discussing complex financial news, for example.

      But reporters shouldn’t go native.

  2. Panty Christ

    Why did reynolds become a “journalist” when he could have been a chief super in the Irish gestapo service?

  3. Buswells Babe

    A news report put up on RTE news at 1 says that the guards are now saying that the big discovery is not that Cooke actually killed Philip Cairns but that he ‘knew’ him.

    It then waters matters down further by saying he knew him ‘in the sense of having invited children to his studio’.

    Does this mean that Cooke invited a group of children – including Philip – to his studio or that he invited Philip specifically?

    If Philip was the recipient of a group invite – how big was the group? On a reading of the quote above, Cooke could simply have invited children listening to radio Ireland to write in if they wanted to win a visit to the studio and Philip could have been in the room listening to this invite.

    Not quite the same thing as abducting him and bringing him to the studio and killing him which appears to have been the impression that the initial – carefully worded to be misleading? – leak appears to have sought to create.

  4. Jake38

    I think its pretty clear to denizens of BS that Philip Cairns was actually murdered by the CIA during a stopover by the US military in Shannon, according to plans developed by the Israelis to divert attention from the Shell to Sea campaign.

    1. Kevin

      Dr Julien Mercille next must read column will go into this in more details with added graphs.

      1. Buswells Babe

        Actually I think it’s much more clear to denizens of Broadsheet who have actually been reading the posts (as opposed to trolling) that Philip was murdered by someone respected in the local community who had been abusing him or one of his friends and that this person or persons and their contacts have been succesffully stopping progress on the investigation.

        And that crime reporting in Ireland is very poor and that ‘Garda sources’ count for nothing.

        But we knew that already.

        1. rory

          What specifically makes you think that a respected person/people were stopping progress in the investigation?

          1. Buswells Babe

            Rory, you must be very very anxious for a response to this question, because you’ve essentially asked it of me twice in different forms.

            I did not say that a respected person or person was stopping progress. What I said was a direct reference to the theory, put forward by Geraldine Niland in the Sindo in 1989, and in my opinion broadly correct, that Philip was abducted by a person he knew and respected. The basis for believing this is Philip’s obedient character and the absence of any evidence of a struggle. All children were warned – even then – not to voluntarily get into cars with strangers and untrustworthy people. Some kids do not tend to obey warnings but Philip appears to have been an unusually obedient child and in my view it is unlikely that he would have got into a car with someone unless they were someone known to him and respected.

            Regarding the stopping of progress in the investigation, I feel that the number and timing of some of the apparent hoaxes indicate that they were deliberate false leads to change the track of the investigation. I have no idea as to whether the persons who carried out these hoaxes were respected persons or not and I did not say this. The fact that Garda information to the public was so contradictory ever changing and from unnamed sources in my view damaged the investigation. Whether this was deliberate or incompetence is in my view something that cannot be clearly identified at present. To presume however, that it was incompetence is too easy and an open eye must be kept in relation to the possibility that some members of the Gardai were – for whatever reason – encouraging and leaking false leads.

          2. ahjayzis

            Did you read that exhaustive timeline BS posted the other day?

            Reminiscent of other cases of unsolved missing kids

            It details incompetence so bad that either our police service is woefully inadequate at their job to the point of not even giving a damn – or there was interference.

          3. rory

            I read it last night. I had a similar opinion to Cloud9, who wrote the following in that comment section:

            “It’s interesting how people take from it corruption and a cover up by the Gardai. I don’t see it myself, faced with such a massive amount of disinformation it’s not that surprising it was never solved.”

  5. moroccan rug dealer

    And we waited over 30 years for this? When Cooke was arrested nearly 20 years ago an Garda should have made it their business to know at what time he shat. The public want this little boy laid to rest so get on with it and stop drip feeding information got 6 years ago.

  6. Elizabeth Mainwaring

    Cora at the golf club says that everyone is seeing a conspiracy here with this poor boy, when in fact it’s just the usual Irish explanation. Incompetence.

    1. Buswells Babe

      Maybe Cora at the Club has got it the wrong way round.

      Maybe incompetence is what we use as a cover-up.

        1. Buswells Babe

          Are you asking Cora at the Golf Club or me, Rory? If you’re asking both of us, one cancels the other out. If you’re asking me rather than Cora, is it because you’re already biased in her favour? You might deal with that when replying to my response, perhaps?

          Your motivation in asking the above aside, it’s pretty obvious from looking at a number of criminal investigations in the 70s and 80s, (Cairns, Mary Boyle, the Dun Laoghaire Baby case) that either aspects of the investigations themselves or the way in which these aspects were reported to the public (such reports being a crucial element in its resolution) were not handled with the greatest of skill.

          It is of course possible that the Gardai are not that bright. But it is equally possible that there may have been some people within the Gardai who were deliberately acting to frustrate the investigations and there could be a number of reasons for this.

          1. Buswells Babe

            Well then Rory try reading my reply above. If you’ve any further queries arising I will be happy to respond (only wish the Gardai were as obliging, their press conference today was a joke).

  7. Pip

    Does anyone else think this whole thing is a seeping bundle of GROSS WEIRDNESS…?
    Really, it’s like a bad play, those awful theatrical experiences where things happen at the same – no, different! – times, and strange creatures lurk in the wings. How jarring and awful for the family.

  8. Louis Lefronde

    The problem here is that the journalists are not robust and probative enough with the cops. I saw that sorry excuse for a press conference earlier and truthfully it was a pathetic round table exercise. There are serious questions to be asked not just about Cooke but about the investigation itself over the years. At this point in time the mainstream papers should be sending their reporters to bang on doors and chasing up leads to find out more about Cooke and his associates.

    1. ahjayzis

      I honestly don’t know what the Gardai have to do before these pathetic excuses for journalists stop taking their word as gospel.

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