CW: Graphic and distressing content depicting physical violence
A 22-year-old man has formally been charged with the horrific murders of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee.
Yousef Palani was brought in front of a special sitting of Sligo District Court this afternoon and has been charged with two counts of murder following the fatal attacks.
He has also been charged with one count of assault after maiming Sligo man, Anthony Burke in a third vicious attack.
Palani was brought in for questioning yesterday on suspicion of the attacks but following their investigation, Gardaí decided to formally press charges. The man will now be remanded in custody to face trial.
It is believed that Palani used gay dating apps to gain access to both men’s homes. The Irish Examiner reports that these brutal murders “may not have been the perpetrator’s first attempts at violent assaults.”
Gardaí in Sligo and beyond are directing the public towards resources on safety when it comes to online dating. They have issued advice on how to safely navigate a first-time meeting with someone you met online, including asking for recent photographs, having a video call prior to the meeting and sharing your location with someone you trust.
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee stated, “These are incidents that we thought were behind us.” She continued, “I just want to reassure people that any crimes that are motivated by hate or by prejudice or by discrimination, will not be tolerated and will carry higher sentences. I hope to introduce the hate crime bill in a matter of weeks to respond.”
Whilst Palani being charged is a positive advancement in the investigation of these tragic murders, the LGBTQ+ community remains shocked and appalled by the attacks.
GCN wishes to share our condolences with the family, friends, loved ones and all of the LGBTQ+ community who are grieving Aidan and Michael at this time.
We realise that this is a particularly distressing time for the community but we take solace in the resilience and solidarity that our community shows in the face of adversity. We will be standing in solidarity and support with all those in mourning at the vigils being held across the weekend.
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