Sligo: Police investigate possible hate-related motive after second man found dead with extensive injuries | World News

Police are investigating a possible hate-related motive after a second man was found dead with significant injuries in the Irish town of Sligo this week.

Michael Snee, 58, was found dead in an apartment in Connaughton Road at about 10.30pm on Tuesday.

He had been subjected to “serious physical assault and had suffered significant injuries”, Garda superintendent Aidan Glacken told a press conference in Sligo.

The scene remained sealed off on Wednesday morning.

A man in his 20s was arrested on suspicion of murder at about 1.45am on Wednesday after the discovery of the victim.

He was detained in Sligo town by members of the Garda Armed Support Unit and is being held at Sligo Garda station.

The incident comes after the body of Aidan Moffitt was discovered in the town on Monday.

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Aidan Moffitt was found dead inside a property at Cartron Heights

Gardai are conducting separate murder investigations into the deaths.

Officers were investigating whether Mr Moffitt, who was in his 40s, met his attacker online or on a dating app sometime on Sunday and then let them into his home.

They are also looking into whether there was a “hate-related motive” in the murders.

Mr Glacken said guards 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.

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

“Gardai 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.”

Mr Moffitt’s body was discovered at a house in Cartron Heights at about 8.30pm and had sustained what gardai described as “significant physical injuries”.

The Irish Times reported that the victim’s home was equipped with a strong security system, with a large fence and CCTV, according to Garda sources. There was also no sign of a break-in at the property.

Flowers at the scene in Cartron Heights, Sligo, Ireland, following the death of Aidan Moffitt, who was in his early 40s.  Picture date: Wednesday April 13, 2022.
Image:
Flowers at the scene in Cartron Heights following the death of Aidan Moffitt

Mr 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.”

He said a post-mortem had been carried out on Mr Moffitt’s body and one would be conducted for Mr Snee later on Wednesday.

Gardai issued safety advice to those meeting with individuals they have met online as part of their appeal for information.

“Get a face picture from the person you intend to meet. Be very cautious of a person who does not share a recent face picture with you,” they said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Ask for their social media handles … Be wary of new accounts with low follower count and few posts.

“Let friends know where you’re going … Meet in a public place first. Take a few minutes to chat and feel confident you want to proceed before going somewhere private.”

Irish broadcaster RTÉ reported that Mr Moffitt was originally from County Roscommon in Ireland’s central north, and worked in the property sector. He was also a peace commissioner for his local area and canvassed for Fine Gael during several election campaigns.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said he sent his “deepest sympathies” to Mr Moffitt’s friends and family.

He tweeted: “Deeply concerned by this horrific killing and reports of another violent death in Sligo this morning,” Mr Martin tweeted. I urge anyone with any information to contact gardai. “

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said Mr Moffitt was a Fine Gael activist.

“Deeply troubled to read about the two suspected murders in Sligo,” he said.

“Thinking of his family and friends. What happened is unspeakable and hard to fathom. Concerned about the possible motive of the attacker. RIP.”

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