Philip Cairns' house.

Place of Interest in Rathfarnham, Dublin, Ireland.

Skip to address »

Philip Cairns' house on Ballyroan Road.

This is the house that Philip Cairns was living in when he went missing.

At about 1:30 PM on October 23rd, 1986, the 13-year-old left this house to return to school.

At the time, he was a first year student at the Coláiste Éanna secondary school in Hillside Park. 

The route in question is roughly 1.2km long, and it would have taken Philip about 10-15 minutes to walk it.

Sadly, he never made it back to school that day. After he turned the corner to walk down Ballyroan Road, he was never seen again.

Despite a large-scale search and a huge amount of publicity, no trace of the 13-year-old has ever been found.

Rivers, lakes, and forests were all combed.


Six days after he went missing, his schoolbag was discovered in a nearby laneway. Investigators believe that the bag was placed in the alleyway a number of days after Philip went missing.

This is because the bag was dry despite recent rainfall.

The placement of this bag may have been done in order to mislead the investigation. This act is commonly referred to as "staging".

The case remains open.

Although there were hundreds of sightings of Philip in the aftermath of his disappearance, all of them turned out to be false leads.

To this day, the case remains unsolved. It is one of Ireland's most well-known missing persons cases.

Where did Philip Cairns live?

Below, you will find the address and the GPS coordinates for this location.

GPS Coordinates.

The GPS coordinates for the house are as follows.

  • Latitude: 53.291497
  • Longitude: -6.308337


Open 53.291497, -6.308337 in Google Maps to view directions on how to get there.


The full address for this location is:

38 Ballyroan Road
D16 VW93

The Eircode is D16 VW93.

Details about the general area.

Ballyroan is a suburb of Rathfarnham in Dublin. It is in the south of Dublin, close to Marlay Park.


  • Philip had only started secondary school at the time.
  • At the start of the investigation, there were reports that a woman in Tipperary had picked up a child matching Philip's description. The boy claimed that he was from Waterford and that he had spent the previous night sleeping in a guest house. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a false lead.
  • In 2016, a woman contacted gardai and told them that she suspected that Philip was murdered by DJ and convicted paedophile Eamonn Cooke.
  • Eamonn Cooke died a month after the claims were made.
  • According to the woman, Cookie may have killed Cairns at his pirate radio station. At the time, the station was located at 58 Inchicore Road.
  • Although Cooke did confirm some of the woman's story, he was receiving palliative care and suffering from dementia at the time. Furthermore, he did not reveal the location of Philip's remains.


Photos of the house and other related images.

The route that Philip Cairns took.

Philip Cairns route

This is the route that Philip Cairns was supposed to take that day. As you can see, the lane where his schoolbag was discovered is very close to his house on Ballyroan Road. It is about 450 metres away, which is a 2-5 minute walk.

The laneway where his schoolbag was found.

Philip Cairns lane.

This is the laneway where Philip's schoolbag was found. It is about 100 metres long and it connects Anne Devlin Drive with Anne Devlin Road. His schoolbag was discovered six days after he went missing. It is believed that someone placed the bag here at a later date, as it was completely dry despite recent rainfall.

Coordinates: 53.291220, -6.304540

Google Maps link.

His house in the 1980s.

Philip Cairns' house 1980s.

A photograph of what his house looked like on the day that he went missing. The garage with the orange door no longer exists. In 2012, it was converted into an extension.



Volunteers preparing to search for Philip at the foothills of the Dublin mountains.

Gardai stopping cars.

Gardai stopping cars.

Gardai stopping motorists and questioning them. This was two or three days after he went missing.

Ballyroan Road.

Ballyroan Road.

He would have walked down Ballyroan Road.



A Google Street View image of the property from 2009. This was before the garage was converted into a pitched roof extension.

The schoolbag.

Philip Cairns' schoolbag

A member of the gardai kneels down beside Cairns' schoolbag. The bag was missing two religion books and a geography book. In 2016, it was examined for DNA evidence. However, testing failed to link it with any persons of interest.

This location belongs to the following categories.

Missing PeopleUnresolved Cases
Follow us.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to see future locations.

Facebook Twitter

Closest locations.

Other locations that are relatively close to this place.

The junction where Martin Cahill was shot dead.

Roughly 7KM away.

Crime Location in Ranelagh, Dublin, Ireland

View Location

The location where Trevor Deely was last seen.

Roughly 8KM away.

Crime Location in Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland

View Location

The location where Veronica Guerin was killed.

Roughly 8KM away.

Crime Location in Clondalkin, Dublin, Ireland

View Location

The pub where Irish gangster Eamon Dunne was shot dead.

Roughly 11KM away.

Crime Location in Cabra, Dublin, Ireland

View Location

Graham Dwyer's house.

Roughly 13KM away.

Place of Interest in Foxrock, Dublin, Ireland

View Location

Newest Locations

The apartment lot where Jodi Huisentruit was abducted.

Crime Location
Mason City, Iowa, United States

View Location

The house where Paris Bennett murdered his sister.

Crime Location
Abilene, Texas, United States

View Location

Johnny Gosch's house.

Place of Interest
West Des Moines, Iowa, United States

View Location

Travis Alexander's house.

Crime Location
Mesa, Arizona, United States

View Location