Mountains killing caused by 'blunt force trauma to the head'
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 into his death heard.
Conservationist Michael McCoy of Ballinascorney Upper, Brittas, Co Dublin was found dead at Blackhill Forest in the Dublin Mountains on September 30, 2016.
Mr McCoy 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 the inquest.
The post-mortem 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 29 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 around 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.
Detective Inspector John Walsh of Tallaght Garda Station confirmed the remains were formally identified after DNA was assessed by a forensic scientist.
A file has been prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and criminal proceedings are being contemplated, DI Walsh 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 15, 2017 and extended her condolences to the family on their tragic loss.
Mr McCoy ran the Dublin and Wicklow Conservation Group and had campaigned against a string of building developments in Dublin and Wicklow.
Hundreds turned out at his funeral to pay their last respects at St. Maelruain's Church in Tallaght.