Tuesday 20 August 2019

'This is heartbreaking, we need answers' - Family of man killed while walking his dog issue emotional plea

Michael McCoy was found with injuries to his head
Michael McCoy was found with injuries to his head

Louise Roseingrave

The family of a man killed while out walking his dogs in a Dublin forest is "holding on to the hope" that they will one day get closure.

The body of Michael McCoy (63) was found with blunt force trauma injuries on a track at Blackhill Forest in the Dublin Mountains on the morning of September 30, 2016.

His wife Catriona McCoy and their daughters Rachel, Suzanne and Sarah issued an appeal for any information.

"This is a heartbreaking day for the whole family. We just really need answers at this stage so we appeal to the public to come forward," Rachel said.

"It has been nearly three years since Michael was taken from us and we are still left with many unanswered questions. We are still holding on to the hope that somebody will come forward to bring us some closure," the family said.

Mr McCoy was a builder by trade who had recently graduated in history from Trinity College.

"He was a fine person, very passionate and caring. He had lots of interests, in history, local issues, planning, the place we had, his animals and his family," Ms McCoy said.

He was last seen alive at 6.40am in the family home at Ballinascorney Upper, Brittas, on September 29, 2016, by his wife and Suzanne.

He usually walked his two dogs in the Blackhill Forest, a 10-minute drive away, the inquest heard. The family grew concerned after returning to find the chickens had not been let out. They alerted gardaí after conducting their own initial search of the woods.

Mountain rescue volunteer Brendan Beirne found his body on a forest track. "The dog was at the feet of its owner. I could tell the dog was in a distressed state. The man was lying on his back with his hands on his chest," he said.

Closer inspection of the man's injuries prompted a full forensic post-mortem.

Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan found his injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma to the head.

Detective Inspector John Walshe said a file was submitted to the DPP but there was insufficient evidence to bring charges. The investigation remains open.

The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing by person or persons unknown. Dublin Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane sympathised with the family.

Anyone with information should contact Tallaght garda station.

Irish Independent

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