Gardaí investigating murder in Dublin Mountains examine conservation link

Gardaí investigating murder in Dublin Mountains examine conservation link

Gardaí investigating the murder of a conservationist whose body was found in a remote part of the Dublin Mountains believe he was killed in connection with one of the campaigns he was involved in.

Michael McCoy (61) was a leading member of the Dublin Mountain Conservation Group.

His remains were found by a search team at about 4am on Friday though news of the killing only emerged when the Garda issued a statement on Saturday afternoon.

Gardaí were last night questioning a 41 year-old man in connection with the death of Mr McCoy. A post mortem revealed he had been beaten across the back of his head and left for dead.

Michael, who had left his home in Ballinascorney Upper to walk his two dogs at 6am on Thursday morning, was reported missing by family members on Thursday evening when they discovered he had not returned.

It’s understood one of the dogs being walked by Michael made his way home while a second dog, a Boxer named Fia, is still missing.

A tweet from #Rachel McCoy stated: '#FindFia - Fia our boxer is still missing in the Ballinascorney area after my dad was assaulted. Please share & help find her'.

A major searched was launched and volunteers from Wicklow Mountain Rescue located Michael’s body close to a forest track on Ballinascorney Hill shortly after 5.30am on Friday.

The dead man was a passionate conservationist who had lodged a very high number of planning objections to building schemes and other projects he believed would damage the natural beauty of the area where he was murdered. 

His niece Kirstin McCoy made an appeal on Twitter today for anyone with information about the grim find to come forward immediately.

She posted: "My uncle was found murdered on Friday. I appeal to anyone with info to please contact the Gardai.