Relatives express outrage at funeral mass of Michael McCoy

NewsBy Alan Sherry
Relatives express outrage at funeral mass of Michael McCoy

The family of Michael McCoy asked “if this doesn’t outrage us what will?” at his packed funeral Mass yesterday.

Hundreds of mourners, led by Michael’s wife Caitriona and three daughters, packed St Maelruain’s Anglican Church in Tallaght yesterday. 

His brother-in-law Daniel Kelly said Michael’s love for the environment ran deep. 

He compared Michael to murdered Brazilian environmentalist Chico Mendes, who fought to preserve the Amazon rainforest, and Honduran environmentalist Lesbia Yaneth Urquia, who was murdered earlier this year. 

“Those are faraway to us – lawless places – but it’s the same planet. These are people who, like Mike, went against the grain – against fatalistic acceptance of low standards,” he said.

“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 extremely proud of his three daughters, Rachel, Suzanne and Sarah. He also told how Michael built his own home and at the age of 59 enrolled in Trinity College. 

He said 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 said.

“He was a family man and also a father and brother and friend to many. He lived a principled life underpinned by a strong sense of right and wrong. Michael cared enough to take a stand. Michael loved the outdoors.”

He told how Michael would take him and other relatives on hikes in the mountains and instilled a love of nature in them. He also loved photography, bird watching, cars and guitars. 

“He was the life and soul of any party and the first to rise the next morning for an early walk. He put us younger ones to shame. We can only live our lives as best we can with purpose, love and joy. Michael did all three.”

Rev William Deverell’s, a personal friend of Michael, told of his hospitality and how he was always willing to lend a hand or drop in for a cup of tea and a chat. Rev Deverell said Michael had the bravery of a prophet and his family could be truly proud of him.