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Friday 28 April 2017

Man (41) continues to be questioned after body of dog walker (64) found in woods

41-year-old arrested after retired man's body is found

Grim find:The area where the man's body was found
Grim find:The area where the man's body was found

Eamon Dillon

Gardai are continuing to question a man (41) about the murder of a dog walker in county Dublin.

A murder investigation was launched after a retired man out walking his dogs was apparently beaten to death on a forest track in the Dublin mountains.

Gardai confirmed that a 41-year-old man has been arrested as investigations continue.

He was arrested around 5pm yesterday evening.

The victim (64) has been named locally as Michael McCoy. His body was discovered on Friday after concerns were raised when he failed to return home from a walk around Ballinascorney Hill between Tallaght and Brittas.

The forested area is popular with hill walkers and mountain bike enthusiasts and is close to where the victim lived.

A Garda preserves the scene where the mans body was discovered off the Ballinascorney Road in Brittas.
Pic Steve Humphreys
A Garda preserves the scene where the mans body was discovered off the Ballinascorney Road in Brittas. Pic Steve Humphreys

Gardai were alerted last Thursday evening and began an immediate search of the area, where members of the man's family had also been looking for him.

Following a post mortem at Tallaght Hospital carried out by State Pathologist Linda Mulligan, it emerged that Mr McCoy died as a result of injuries inflicted by an attacker or attackers. Yesterday senior gardai made an appeal for information close to the site at Ballinascorney Forest where he was found.

Supt Peter Duff from Tallaght Station asked anyone who may have information to come forward.

"We have established this man was last seen at 6am on Thursday morning. His family had left to go to work and that evening realised he had not returned home, and they reported their concerns to Tallaght Garda Station."

Gardai preserves the scene close to where the mans body was discovered on Ballinascorney Hill in Brittas.
Pic Steve Humphreys
Gardai preserves the scene close to where the mans body was discovered on Ballinascorney Hill in Brittas. Pic Steve Humphreys

Gardai assisted by the helicopter unit searched the area and as darkness fell requested assistance from the Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Service. Two members of the service discovered the body lying on the path at around 5.30am on Friday.

"The post mortem indicates that he died of an assault. There were head injuries," said Superintendent Duff. Asked if a weapon had been used, he said: "We are keeping an open mind and are still searching the area."

"It's a very isolated area, a kilometre and a half off the main road. We would appeal to anyone who was in the area, it's used by recreational hill walkers and people on mountain bikes. It's a popular area," added Supt Duff, who said there have been no recent reports of any kind of anti-social activity in the location.

Supt Duff explained that the victim, who is retired, would regularly walk his dogs along the gravel paths.

"It's part of his normal routine."

He added that there was nothing in the man's background to suggest he could have been deliberately targeted, and that he was certainly "not known to us".

One of the man's pets had returned home but another female boxer is still missing, prompting family and friends to search for the animal.

They also launched a social media campaign appealing for people to help find 'Fia'.

Gardai do not believe that robbery was a motivation in the incident as Mr McCoy's keys, wallet and phone were recovered nearby.

The man is being questioned at Tallaght Garda Station and can be questioned for up to 24 hours.

Sunday Independent

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