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Family's plea for answers over dad killed walking his dogs


Michael McCoy was found dead in September 2016. Photo:

Michael McCoy was found dead in September 2016. Photo:

Michael McCoy was found dead in September 2016. Photo:

The family of a man killed while walking his dogs in a Dublin forest has issued an appeal for information.

The body of Michael McCoy (63) was found with head in- juries in Blackhill Forest in the Dublin Mountains on September 30, 2016.

His wife Catriona and daughters Rachel, Suzanne and Sarah pleaded for information that could help bring them closure.

"We all miss him very much," Mrs McCoy said.

Daughter Rachel said after her father's inquest at Dublin Coroner's Court: "This is a heartbreaking day for the whole family. We really need answers."

The family said they were still holding on to hope that someone might come forward.

"It has been nearly three years since Michael was taken from us and we are still left with many unanswered questions," they said in a statement.

Builder Mr McCoy had obtained a degree in history from Trinity College not long before his death, his wife said.

"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 family," she added.


Mr McCoy was last seen at 6.40am at home in Ballinascorney Upper, Brittas, Co Dublin, on September 29, 2016, by his wife and Suzanne before they went to work.

He usually walked his two dogs, Sophie and Fia, in the Blackhill Forest between 7.30am and 8am, the inquest heard. The family grew concerned after returning from work to find the chickens had not been let out and alerted gardai after searching the woods themselves.

Rescue volunteer Brendan Beirne found Mr McCoy's body on a forest track at 5.30am, one dog at his feet.

"The man was on his back with his hands on his chest," he said.

Closer inspection of his injuries, initially thought caused by a fall, prompted a post-mortem.

Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan found he had fractures of the skull and facial bones and irregular cuts and grazes consistent with blows from a solid object.

Det Insp John Walshe said a file was sent 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.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane told the family: "It's been so very hard for you. He was a highly respected man."