Wednesday 7 December 2016

'If this doesn't outrage us what will?' - Family anger as murdered conservationist laid to rest

Alan Sherry

Published 08/10/2016 | 15:14

Caitroina McCoy, centre, follows the coffin of her husband Michael McCoy (inset) into St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght.
Caitroina McCoy, centre, follows the coffin of her husband Michael McCoy (inset) into St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght.
Flowers are carried into the church at the funeral of Michael McCoy in St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght. Photo: Tony Gavin
Caitroina McCoy, centre, follows the coffin of her husband Michael McCoy into St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght. Photo: Tony Gavin
The coffin of Michael McCoy is carried from St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mourners follow the coffin of Michael McCoy into St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mourners follow the coffin of Michael McCoy into St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mourners follow the coffin of Michael McCoy into St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mourners follow the coffin of Michael McCoy into St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght. Photo: Tony Gavin
Photo of Michael McCoy carried by a mourner. Photo: Tony Gavin
The coffin of Michael McCoy is carried from St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght. Photo: Tony Gavin
The coffin of Michael McCoy is carried from St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mourners follow the coffin of Michael McCoy into St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mourners follow the coffin of Michael McCoy into St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght. Photo: Tony Gavin

The family of a conservationist murdered in the Dublin Mountains asked “if this doesn’t outrage us what will?” at his packed funeral mass today.

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Hundreds of mourners packed the church and the grounds outside the pay respect to Michael McCoy at his funeral mass in St. Maelruain's Anglican Church in Tallaght yesterday.

He was beaten to death while out walking his dogs in woods near his home in Ballinascorney, Brittas, last Thursday week.

It is believed he suffered head injuries after being hit with a wooden implement which has yet to be found.

Mourners follow the coffin of Michael McCoy into St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght.
Photo: Tony Gavin
Mourners follow the coffin of Michael McCoy into St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland in Tallaght. Photo: Tony Gavin

Gardaí arrested a 41-year-old man in connection with the killing but later released him without charge.

They suspect Michael may have been killed because he was a conservationist and had been involved in objecting to developments.

His brother-in-law Daniel Kelly said Michael’s love for the environment ran deep and saw the damage being done but was “determined to do something about it”.

“A former colleague of mine from across the water remarked once in a moment of exasperation that the Irish have no sense of outrage. Look at what’s happened. If this doesn’t outrage us what will? If this doesn’t jolt our community and our country out of its stupor in relation to environmental issues especially what will?”

He added that Michael was a wonderful family who was extremely proud of his three daughters Rachel, Suzanne and Sarah. He also told how Michael built his own home and at the ripe age of 59 enrolled in Trinity College.

He added that he loved an argument and never minded being in minority of one.

“Michael will not be forgotten we will remember him with great pride and much love,” he said.

A nephew of Michael told the congregation his life was taken away all too soon. “It’s hard to understand why tragic things like this happen to such kind good people. We’ll never know what lesson we were supposed to learn from this.”

He is survived by his wife Caitriona ,daughters Rachel, Suzanne and Sarah, brothers and sisters John, Eileen, Willie and Margaret

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