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Vicious killing of two men has Irish LGBTQ+ community on edge

Yousef Palani, 22, has been charged over the murders of the two men, police are investigating if the murders were hate crimes

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Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt (Family photos/BBC)

SLIGO, Ireland – The LGBTQ+ community in the city of Sligo, in the north of Ireland, is reeling from the brutal murders of two LGBTQ+ men and the vicious assault of another man, crimes that were so horrific that Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland) Micheál Martin issued a statement on Twitter.

Thousands of people have attended vigils across Ireland in memory of the two men killed, both were found dead in their own homes in the city by the Sligo Gardaí (Police) this past week.

Sligo: Thousands attend vigils in memory of two murdered men:

According to the Irish Examiner, the Gardaí in Sligo are examining whether there is a homophobic motive for the grisly killings of two men in the town over the past two days. 

Michael Snee, 58, was found dead in his home in Sligo Town Wednesday night, while Aidan Moffitt, 42, was found dead in his home in the town on Monday night.

Yousef Palani, 22, has been charged over the murders of the two men- police are investigating if the murders were hate crimes.

Yousef Palani (Screenshot/SKYNEWS UK)

He will also be questioned about an attack on a man at the start of the weekend in which the victim lost an eye.

Sligo Gardaí superintendent Aidan Glacken told reporters in a press conference that Palani was arrested on Wednesday afternoon after the discovery of Mr Snee’s body in his apartment at around 10.30pm on Tuesday.

Mr Snee had been subjected to “serious physical assault and had suffered significant injuries”,  superintendent Aidan Glacken said. Mr Moffitt’s body was discovered in his house in Cartron Heights at around 8.30pm on Monday. He had also sustained “significant physical injuries,” Glacken added.

According to the Examiner police stated that use of a mobile phone dating app was a critical component in the investigation. Glacken told reporters that the Gardaí “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.”

“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.

“I continue to appeal to anyone with any information on these crimes to contact us at Sligo Garda station,” he said adding, “No matter how insignificant you think it may be, we need to hear from you.”

Sligo Pride, which organized one of the nationwide vigils for the two victims wrote on Twitter, “If you are meeting someone online in person for the first time, give a trusted friend as much information on this other person as you can and let your friend know where you are. We understand the worries and concerns at this time.”

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