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Mother of Philip Cairns still hopes for ‘conclusion’

By Susan Gately - 10 May, 2014

Alice Cairns, mother of Philip Cairns

Alice Cairns, mother of Philip Cairns

The mother of a boy missing since 1986, believes that one day there will be a “conclusion” to the story of her son.

Philip Cairns was walking back to school after his lunch in broad daylight on Friday 23 October 1986, when he disappeared never to be seen again.

According to his mother Alice, Philip was a profoundly spiritual child. He had just made his confirmation months before and was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

His strong faith has been a source of consolation to his mother.

“Whatever plan God had for him and for us, I knew it was ok,” she told CatholicIreland.net

On the day of his disappearance, unusually his mother had been in town. When she came back home, her daughter opened the door, and immediately Alice knew that something was wrong.

Straightaway she thought it was bad news concerning a nephew who was dying of cancer at the time, but then her daughter told her “Philip didn’t come home from school.”

Philip Cairns

Philip Cairns

Unfortunately by the time it was established that Philip was missing and the hunt began in earnest, Philip had been missing six hours.

“We went through the night, waiting, wondering and praying. The next day there was still no sign and to this day,  twenty-eight years later, there is still no sign,” she said.

Every day Alice goes to her local church in Ballyroan, Dublin and lights a candle for Philip at a side altar near the front of the church.

On the altar is a statue of the sacred heart of Jesus, with Jesus portrayed as a young child.

Alice donated the statue to the church and it is a special memento of her son.  She says consolation in her life comes from prayer.

“It consoles me that so many people are praying. We’ve received mass cards and bouquets from all over the world.”

“These prayers don’t go to waste and I feel that there will be, even if it [happened] that long time ago, there will be a conclusion to it and please God we’ll be able to accept it.”

Mrs Cairns said that in her life, one day follows another and she has put herself into the Lord’s hands.

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