Gardaí investigating possible hate-related motive to murders
A man in his 20s is being detained following the discovery of two bodies with “serious physical injuries” in Sligo in recent days.
Gardaí say they are keeping an “open mind” after the bodies of County Roscommon native Aidan Moffitt (42) and Michael Snee (58) were found in their own homes within days of each other.
Addressing members of the media yesterday morning (Wednesday), Chief Superintendent Aidan Glacken confirmed that members had attended Mr. Snee’s private residence at around 10.30 pm on Tuesday where his body was discovered.
“Michael had been subject of a serious physical assault and had suffered significant injuries,” he said.
“Previously, on Monday, April 11th, at approximately 8.30 pm, Gardaí from Sligo Garda Station attended at a private residence at Cartron Heights, Sligo, following a call from the public.
“There, Gardaí discovered the body of Aidan Moffitt. Aidan had also been the subject of a serious physical assault and had suffered significant injuries.
“Michael and Aidan were well known and respected in this community. They were assaulted and murdered in their own homes. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at this time and indeed their friends and the wider community in Sligo”.
Supt. Glacken told the press conference that Gardaí were currently conducting two separate murder investigations into the deaths of Mr. Snee and Mr. Moffitt.
“Family Liaison Officers have been provided to both Michael and Aidan’s families and An Garda Síochána continue to provide ongoing support to the families,” he said.
Both crime scenes have been sealed off and postmortems were carried out by the State Pathologist at University Hospital Sligo.
Supt. Glacken said that a man in his early 20s had been arrested shortly after 1.30 am on Wednesday morning.
“This male remains in custody, detained under Section 4 Criminal Justice Act 1984, and I cannot make any further comment on this part of the investigation”.
He thanked the public for their continued cooperation and assistance and said it was “heartening to see such cross-community support”.
“We are actively investigating as to whether there is any hate-related motive to these murders. An Garda Síochána 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,” he added.
Gardaí are investigating whether the men had met their attacker online and have appealed to members of the public who have been subject to any unwanted approaches or may have been attacked, to contact Sligo Garda Station.
“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,” he said.
“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. An Garda Síochána has an online facility to report hate crimes on the Garda website.
“I continue to appeal to anyone with any information on these crimes to contact us at Sligo Garda station. No matter how insignificant you think it may be, we need to hear from you.
“Please contact us at Sligo Garda Station at the dedicated Incident Room phone number 071-9157088, the Garda Confidential Line phone number 1800-666111, or any Garda Station.
“I would like to reassure the public that any information received will be treated in the strictest confidence.
“Finally, our thoughts and prayers are with Michael’s and Aidan’s families at this time”.