This newspaper has spoken to witnesses and seen evidence that an admission of involvement was made by an individual in 1996, 10 years after the boy's disappearance.
The individual confessed to playing a part in Philip's death and described in detail what had happened.
Philip was a person of habit and his routine never changed. Every day he came home for lunch, and his unvarying schedule made it easy to put the plan into operation. A person well-known to the boy, who also had an association with the school, offered Philip a lift back to school.
In the car, the boy was overpowered and murdered. He was driven some miles away where his body was transferred into a van and driven to the grounds of a religious order in Rathfarnham. The dead boy was placed in a pond in convent grounds.
It has been confirmed that the grounds were never searched at the time. There was some suspicion that Philip's body had been placed in a pond, however, and two ponds in Phoenix Park were searched, to no avail.
The ponds in the convent grounds were not searched, and now it seems unlikely the area will ever yield its secret. The ponds were later filled in to allow development. On one pond, a retirement home has been built; the second is now the site for a tennis court.