Gardaí suspect "hate related motive" as two men murdered in Sligo
They are appealing for information.
Gardaí investigating the murders of two men in Sligo over the past two days suspect that there was a "hate related motive".
Gardaí attended a private residence at Connaughton Road, Sligo at around 10.30pm on April 12 after responding to a 999 call when they discovered the body of Michael Snee, 58.
He was the victim of a serious physical assault and had suffered significant injuries.
At around 8.30pm on April 11, Gardaí responded to a call and arrived a property at Cartron Heights, Sligo where the body of Aidan Moffitt, 42, was discovered.
He had also been subject to a serious physical assault and had suffered significant injuries.
Speaking about the investigation into the murders, Chief Superintendent Aidan Glacken from Sligo Garda Station said in a statement that Family Liaison Officers have been provided to both families as they continue to investigate.
He said: "I have commenced two separate murder investigations. A Senior Investigating Officer is in charge of each investigation supported by an incident room. Substantial Garda resources are dedicated to these investigations with further support from Regional and National Units.
"Both scenes have been sealed off and remain so, the Garda Technical Bureau are conducting a detailed forensic examination of each scene."
A post mortem has been carried out at University Hospital Sligo on the remains of Aidan Moffitt, with a post mortem set to be carried out on the remains of Michael Snee later today.
In the early hours of this morning, a man in his 20s was arrested for the murder and currently remains in custody, under section 4 Criminal Justice Act 1984.
Chief Superintendent Glacken continued: "We continue to retain an open mind in this investigation.
"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.
"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 looking into whether the two men met their attacker online, which Glacken noted should be a safe activity but warned people to be careful when doing so.
He added: "We continue to explore all the circumstances of these cases and are examining another recent incident which occurred in the Sligo area. 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."
There is an online facility to report Hate Crimes on the Garda website and they are appealing for anyone with information to contact Sligo Garda station.
You can contact the Sligo Garda Station's dedicated Incident Room phone number 071 9157088, the Garda Confidential Line phone number 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.
Images provided by Gardaí.