Family's heartache as murder of Dublin environmentalist unsolved 4 years on

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The heartbroken family of murdered environmentalist Michael McCoy have revealed they are still in shock over his death four years ago.

The father-of-three from Brittas, Co Dublin, was found dead on September 29, 2016, in the Dublin Mountains.

His family say the heartache of his loss has not eased – and they cannot rest until whoever is responsible is brought to justice.

Michael, who was a builder by trade, was attacked while out walking his dogs in the Ballinascorney forest near his home in Brittas.

Initially it was thought he had died as a result of a fall.

But a later post mortem examination found he had sustained complex fractures to the skull and facial bones as well as numerous irregular cuts.

The pathologist determined the 64-year-old’s cause of death as blunt force trauma and said his injuries were consistent with blows from a solid object.

Michael McCoy and family (Image: Crimecall Image)

His heartbroken daughter Rachel told the Irish Sunday Mirror that time has not helped them come to terms with their loving father’s brutal death.

She said: “Our family is still in shock and mourning about my dad’s death.

“We have family all over the world and each one of us misses him every day.

“It’s very difficult to speak about him without getting a lump in my throat or a tear in my eye.

“Each year we mark his birthday with a family walk which is something he loved to do.

“Last November, we evolved the walk to be global due to Covid-19 with family and friends taking part from over 10 countries in #HikeForMike.

“It’s a way that we can all take a moment to remember him in a
positive way.” Rachel said one of his greatest love in life were his two dogs Sophie and Fia.

She added: “My dad was a quiet man who loved his family, nature and of course the dogs.

“Fia and Sophie, our two boxers were his babies who he walked daily in the woods around our home.

“He had just completed a four-year degree in Trinity College when he died, and we attended his graduation where they presented a posthumous degree in his honour.”

His family became concerned when they returned home to find the post had not been brought in and hens they owned had never been let out.

His daughter Suzanne and wife Caitriona searched for Michael and noticed his car parked in the usual spot near the woods, but they could not find him.

The Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue team were called in to assist the gardai with the search and Michael’s body was found on the morning of September 30.

His beloved boxer dog Sophie was found in a distressed state beside him but the other dog Fia was nowhere to be found.

Her remains were found three days later in the forest.

A 41-year-old man was arrested a few weeks later but was released without charge.

At the inquest, Detective Inspector John Walshe said a file had been submitted to the Director of Public Prosecution but that there was
insufficient evidence to bring any charges.

Rachel is now urging anyone who knows the identity of the murderer not to protect them. She said: “I appeal to anyone who thinks they saw something, noticed a change in someone’s behaviour after the 29th September 2016 when my father was killed to come forward.

“His little red car was parked on the side of the road in Ballinascorney from early that morning which might help to jog some people’s memory.

“It’s coming up to five years next September, so we appeal to anyone
who has any tiny piece of information to speak in confidence to the guards.

“There is still no justice served for my dad, the person who did this is still out there amongst the general public.”

Michael was secretary of the Dublin Mountain Conservation group and an ardent campaigner against a string of developments he felt could harm its natural beauty and the area where he lived.

He was well known for objecting to plans and protests had even been held outside his house by people who were unhappy with the issues this was causing.

In 2017 on RTE’s Crimecall, Michael’s wife Caitriona recalled how things were amiss when she arrived home on the day her husband was killed.

She said: “In hindsight you’d notice things were a little bit, not quite right.

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“The post hadn’t been brought in and the hens hadn’t been let out. I didn’t think too much of it.”

  • Anyone with information on Michael’s murder is asked to contact the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Source: Dublin News