Video: Sligo murder probes under way gardaí investigate possible hate motive

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Sligo murders: Victims named as Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt

Gardaí are conducting separate murder investigations into the deaths of two men in Sligo in recent days.

The men have been named as Michael Snee (58) and Aidan Moffitt (42).


Gardaí have arrested a man in his 20s in Sligo following the killing and mutilation of the men.

Gardaí believe the deaths are linked. There is suspicion that the killer may have been responsible for a third attack in the area recently which left a man with serious eye injuries, according to a report in The Irish Times.

There are suspicions both men met their attacker online. The wounds inflicted on the deceased are understood to be similar.

Hate-related motive

Garda superintendent Aidan Glacken said gardaí were keeping an “open mind” in the investigation.


“We are actively investigating as to whether there is any hate-related motive to these murders,” he said.

“An Garda Siochana will endeavour to seek out all the available evidence and ultimately it will be for a court to decide on the motivation behind these appalling crimes.

“Gardaí are also investigating whether Michael and Aidan met their attacker online.

“Meeting people online is a normal activity. Meeting people online should be a safe activity. But as with any online activity everybody should be aware of personal safety advice, which we have provided on the Garda website.”


Related incident

Supt Glacken said officers were examining another recent incident in the Sligo area as part of the murder probes.

“I am appealing to any person who may have been subject to any unwanted approaches or who was assaulted or otherwise attacked to contact the incident room at Sligo Garda station,” he added.

“I have a dedicated diversity team here, we need to hear from you, we are here to listen to you and we are here to support you.”

Political reaction

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee branded the murders as “atrocious crimes”.


“I’ve spoken to the Garda commissioner [Drew Harris] this morning and he has assured me that every effort is being made to make sure that whoever or whomever was responsible for these crimes that they are brought to justice,” she said.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin expressed his concern at the killings. “I urge anyone with any information to contact gardaí,” he tweeted.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: “What happened is unspeakable and hard to fathom.”

Local reaction

Sligo-Leitrim Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan has spoken of the “cloud of worry and fear” that hangs over the town of Sligo following the two violent deaths and a serious attack on another man.


“The community is stunned,” he told Newstalk Breakfast. “The level of violence is absolutely shocking. It is something that Sligo is not used to.”

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Fine Gael community activist Blaine Gaffney, a friend of Aidan Moffitt, said it was very hard to believe what had happened, and he wanted to pay tribute to a “very intelligent, very honest and caring person”.

“He was an all round good guy. Very dignified, what has happened to him wasn’t dignified. I wanted to speak about Aidan as the positive person he was and not what happened to him.”

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