Two men brutally murdered in suspected homophobic attacks in Sligo

The killings are being linked to another violent assault that occurred in the town over the weekend.

Aidan Moffitt, a victim of the suspected homophobic attacks in Sligo.
Image: Twitter: @sorchanimh

CW: Graphic and distressing content depicting physical violence

Two men in Sligo have been tragically murdered in the space of 24 hours, with Gardaí suspecting that the killings may have been homophobic attacks. The first body was found on Monday evening at approximately 8:30PM, while the second was found on Tuesday night at around 10:30PM.

Aidan Moffitt, a Sligo-based businessman and Fine Gael activist, has been identified as the first tragically murdered victim. The remains of the well-known local were found at his home on Monday in Cartron Heights, Sligo town, and his body has been described as being badly mutilated, with first responders describing the scene as “highly distressing”. 

Originally from Lisacul, Co. Roscommon, the 42 year-old reportedly arranged to meet the killer at his home, having initially made contact through a dating app. It is not thought that the two knew each other prior to this first deadly encounter, and Gardaí are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. 

Authorities were also called to an apartment at Connaughton Road, Sligo, on Tuesday night, where they found the remains of another man, 58 year-old Michael Snee. He is said to have also had “significant physical injuries”. 

The scene has been preserved pending forensic examination, and a post-mortem is understood to be scheduled for later today. The results will determine the course of the criminal investigation.

It is believed that the two murders may be linked to a crime that occurred in the Racecourse area of Sligo town over the weekend, where a man in his early 40’s was stabbed in the face, losing an eye as a result of the incident. 

On Wednesday, April 13, at approximately 1:45AM, following “intense local garda activity and inquiries,” Gardaí assisted by the Armed Support Unit arrested a male in his early 20’s in Sligo Town on suspicion of murder. He is currently detained under the provision of section 4 Criminal Justice Act 1984 at Sligo Garda Station, where he will be questioned.

Following the three horrific incidents, Gardaí have issued advice with regards to speaking or meeting up with people one has met online. They are encouraging people to request recent face pictures from the person they are talking to, engage in a video call with the person before meeting, ask for their social media handles, let friends know where you are going and share your live location with a trusted person, meet in a public place, think before accepting food or drink, and if an emergency unfolds call 999.

Anyone with information surrounding the attacks is urged to contact Sligo Garda Station on 071 9157088.

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