Conservationist died due to blunt force trauma to head - inquest

Michael McCoy was formally identified using DNA, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard

Gardai at the scene in the Dublin mountains where the remains of Michael McCoy were found. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Gardai at the scene in the Dublin mountains where the remains of Michael McCoy were found. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

A 64-year-old father of three who was attacked while out walking his dogs near his Co Dublin home died of blunt force trauma, an inquest heard.

Conservationist Michael McCoy of Ballinascorney Upper, Brittas, Co Dublin was found dead at Blackhill Forest in the Dublin Mountains on September 30th 2016.

He was formally identified using DNA, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

The man’s wife Catriona McCoy and their three daughters Sarah, Suzanne and Rachel were visibly upset as the cause of death was read out at an inquest into his death opened at Dublin Coroner’s Court. The postmortem examination carried out by Dr Linda Mulligan found the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

Mr McCoy left his home early on the morning of September 29th 2016 intending to walk his two boxer dogs in the hills around his home. The alarm was raised when he failed to return home and a comprehensive search of the area commenced. Mr McCoy’s body was found on a forest track at about 5.30am the following day.

One of his boxer dogs, Sophie, stayed with his body until mountain rescue services arrived at the wooded forest track. The family launched an online campaign and offered a reward for the second Boxer dog, Fia who remained missing. The second dog’s remains were found a month later.

A file has been prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and criminal proceedings are being contemplated, Detective Inspector John Walsh of Tallaght Garda Station told the court. He applied to the coroner for a six month adjournment pending a decision from the DPP.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane adjourned the inquest until June 15th 2017 and extended her condolences to the family .

Mr McCoy ran the Dublin and Wicklow Conservation Group and had campaigned against a string of building developments in Dublin and Wicklow.