Passionate conservationist disrupted many people’s plans with his objections to their planning applications

By Maurice Garvey

THE garda investigation into the murder of Michael McCoy – a passionate conservationist who objected to hundreds of planning applications in the wider Dublin mountain area – is expected to be extensive and cover a wide range of potential leads.

In his role with the Dublin Mountain Conservation and Environmental Group, Mr McCoy objected to developments from Wickow to the Dublin Mountains.

Missing dog sign Bohernabreena 06 October 2016

This led to many disputes and forms a major part of the garda investigation.

In 2011, a large group of residents protested outside Mr McCoy’s Ballinascorney Upper

home, claiming him to be a “serial objector” to planning applications in the Dublin Mountains.

At the time, The Echo spoke to Bohernabreena residents who attended the protest. These residents felt Mr McCoy’s submissions played a part in their planning applications being refused.

Many residents in the mountains have been living there for generations, and invest time and money on pre-planning applications, in the hope of building a new home for extended family.

Mr McCoy’s name appeared on planning applications from proposed residential develop-ments in Rathfarnham, to a latest objection for works at Shillelagh Quarry, which is located close to his Ballinascorney Upper home.

Sinn Féin councillor for Baltinglass Gerry O’Neill, who organised the 2011 protest, said it was “dreadful to see anyone killed” but called the planning process “crazy.”

“If you live in Hong Kong, you can object to plans for a home in Ireland,” said Cllr O’Neill.

“Over a certain 18-month period, Mr McCoy objected to 30 out of 32 applications. I think a lot of people felt they were cornered or trapped. I know of one man from Wicklow who was stopped twice on planning.

“He then had pre-planning landscaping done for €47k, with the knowledge that it would get permission, but Mr McCoy brought it to the board’s attention, and it was refused. The poor man had to move back in with his father.”

Cllr O’Neill continued: “He was obsessed with this, but it brought a lot of hardship and destroyed people’s lives and even their marriages.”

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