Gardaí examining "another recent incident" in Sligo as murder investigations continue
"We are actively investigating as to whether there is any hate-related motive to these murders."
Gardaí are investigating an additional incident that occurred in the Sligo area as part of their investigations into the fatal assaults of Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt.
On Tuesday (12 April), Gardaí opened an investigation in relation to the murder of 42-year-old Aidan Moffitt.
Gardaí were called to a house at Cartron Heights at around 8.30pm on Monday evening, where the body of Moffitt had been discovered, having received "significant physical injuries".
On Tuesday night, Gardaí were called to an apartment at Connaughton Road in Sligo at approximately 10.30pm, where the body of 58-year-old Michael Snee was discovered.
Snee had also received significant physical injuries.
Following local enquiries, Gardaí assisted by the Armed Support Unit arrested a male in his early 20s in Sligo Town on suspicion of murder in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Speaking on Wednesday in relation to the incidents, Chief Superintendent of Sligo Garda Station Aidan Glacken confirmed that "another recent incident" is now under examination.
"We continue to explore all the circumstances of these cases and are examining another recent incident which occurred in the Sligo area," said Glacken.
"I am appealing to any person who may have been subject of any unwanted approaches or who was assaulted or otherwise attacked to contact the incident room at Sligo Garda Station.
"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."
Commenting on the victims, Glacken paid tribute to both Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt.
"Michael and Aidan were well known and respected in this community," he said.
"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."
The man arrested in the early hours of Wednesday morning remains in custody at the time of writing.
A post-mortem examination was carried out on the remains of Aidan Moffitt on Tuesday at University Hospital Sligo.
Details of the examination have not been released due to operational reasons.
A post-mortem will be carried out on the remains of Michael Snee later on Wednesday.
"We continue to retain an open mind in this investigation," noted Superintendent Glacken.
"I would like to thank the community for their cooperation and assistance so far, information received from across the community continues to assist us in our investigation.
"It is heartening to see such cross community support at this time.
"I continue to appeal to the public for their assistance in that regard," Glacken added.
"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."
Gardaí are also investigating whether Michael and Aidan met their attacker online.
"Meeting people online is a normal activity" said Glacken.
"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."
Anyone with information in connection with the murders of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee is asked to make contact with Sligo Garda Station.
Members of the public can contact the relevant authorities at the dedicated incident room number on 071 915 7088, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.
All information received will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Government officials have moved quickly to condemn the murders and express their shock.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he is "shocked and worried" following the assaults.
"I wanted to say some words about what's happening in Sligo, and the death of Aidan Moffitt, who was a member of the [Fine Gael] party and a branch secretary and a branch chairperson," Varadkar told RTÉ News.
"I just really wanted to say, I've been speaking to some of our members in Sligo last night, and I just wanted to say how shocked and how worried I am, actually, by the two murders that appear to have occurred in Sligo in the last couple of days."
Taoiseach Micheál Martin shared his condolences with Moffitt's family and friends in a tweet on Wednesday morning.
"Deeply concerned by this horrific killing and reports of another violent death in Sligo this morning," he wrote.
My deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Aidan Moffitt.
Deeply concerned by this horrific killing and reports of another violent death in Sligo this morning.
I urge anyone with any information to contact gardai.
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) April 13, 2022
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has lent her department's full support to the investigation.
"An Garda Síochána will investigate these appalling crimes and ensure justice is done," said McEntee.
I have spoken to the Garda Commissioner about the shocking events in Sligo.
An Garda Síochána will investigate these appalling crimes and ensure justice is done.
They will support the people of Sligo and I urge anyone with information to report it to Gardaí.
— Helen McEntee TD (@HMcEntee) April 13, 2022