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Sligo murders: Teenage nieces of Michael Snee made horrific discovery of their dead uncle

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Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt

Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt

Michael Snee

Michael Snee

Aidan Moffitt

Aidan Moffitt

A Garda forensic officer at the scene in Cartron Heights, Sligo, Ireland, following the death of Aidan Moffitt. Picture: PA

A Garda forensic officer at the scene in Cartron Heights, Sligo, Ireland, following the death of Aidan Moffitt. Picture: PA

Flowers at the scene in Cartron Heights, Sligo, following the death of Aidan Moffitt. PA

Flowers at the scene in Cartron Heights, Sligo, following the death of Aidan Moffitt. PA

Garda superintendent Aidan Glacken (centre) speaking to the media outside Sligo Garda station. PA

Garda superintendent Aidan Glacken (centre) speaking to the media outside Sligo Garda station. PA

Location of the incidents in Sligo town. Aidan Moffitt's body was found at his home in Cartron Heights; Michael Snee's body was found at his home on Connaughton Road; an earlier attack happened in the Racecourse area

Location of the incidents in Sligo town. Aidan Moffitt's body was found at his home in Cartron Heights; Michael Snee's body was found at his home on Connaughton Road; an earlier attack happened in the Racecourse area

The remains of Michael Snee are removed from his home in Sligo town where he was murdered. (Picture: Gerry Mooney)

The remains of Michael Snee are removed from his home in Sligo town where he was murdered. (Picture: Gerry Mooney)

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Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt

The teenage nieces of Michael Snee made the horrific discovery of his brutally injured remains at his home on Tuesday night.

It is understood both girls, aged in their late teens, visited their uncle’s home in the City View estate, Sligo town, after he failed to reply to text messages and calls.

Mr Snee (58) was the second man to be found savagely murdered in Sligo town in 24 hours, following the discovery of the mutilated body of Aidan Moffitt (41) on Monday evening.

Garda superintendent Aidan Glacken told a press conference in Sligo town today: "Michael had been subject of a serious physical assault and had suffered significant injuries."

Gardaí are probing links to a serial killer after Mr Snee's body, with very serious injuries, was found in his apartment on Connaughton Street in the town.

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The remains of Michael Snee are removed from his home in Sligo town where he was murdered. (Picture: Gerry Mooney)

The remains of Michael Snee are removed from his home in Sligo town where he was murdered. (Picture: Gerry Mooney)

The remains of Michael Snee are removed from his home in Sligo town where he was murdered. (Picture: Gerry Mooney)

The Indo Daily EXTRA: What we know about the Sligo murders

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Officers including members of the Emergency Response Unit arrested a man in his early 20s on suspicion of murder after what was described as an intense operation in the early hours of Wednesday.

It is understood the 22-year old murder suspect has no previous convictions and was not known to officers for involvement in extremist or any other type of crime before this happened.

It is understood gardaí are working on the basis the two killings are linked, and also related to a separate attack last week in which another man was seriously injured.

Officers are understood to be investigating whether the killings were the work of a potential serial killer who was targeting men on dating apps.

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Michael Snee

Michael Snee

Michael Snee

However Supt Glacken told the press conference that gardai were currently conducting separate murder investigations into the deaths of Mr Snee and Aidan Moffitt.

The discovery of the second man’s body in Sligo comes after the remains of Mr Moffitt (41) of Cartron Heights, Sligo town, were discovered at his home on Monday at 8.30pm.

Gardaí believe he was the victim of a hate crime motivated by homophobia.

Mr Moffitt, a peace commissioner, suffered horrific injuries and was badly mutilated during an attack which has stunned the community in Sligo and his native west Roscommon.

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Location of the incidents in Sligo town. Aidan Moffitt's body was found at his home in Cartron Heights; Michael Snee's body was found at his home on Connaughton Road; an earlier attack happened in the Racecourse area

Location of the incidents in Sligo town. Aidan Moffitt's body was found at his home in Cartron Heights; Michael Snee's body was found at his home on Connaughton Road; an earlier attack happened in the Racecourse area

Location of the incidents in Sligo town. Aidan Moffitt's body was found at his home in Cartron Heights; Michael Snee's body was found at his home on Connaughton Road; an earlier attack happened in the Racecourse area

"Michael and Aidan were well known and respected in this community," Supt Glacken 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."

Speaking at a press conference in Sligo town this morning, Supt Glacken said both men suffered “significant injuries”.

“Family liaison officers have been provided to both Michael and Aidan’s families and An Garda Síochána continue to provide ongoing support to those families. I have commenced two separate murder investigations. A senior investigation officer is in charge of each investigation supported by an incident room,” he said.

“Substantial garda resources are dedicated to these investigations with 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.”

He said a postmortem will be carried out on the remains of Mr Snee later today but that details will not be released for “operational reasons”.

“A postmortem was carried out on the remains of Aidan Moffitt yesterday at University Hospital Sligo by Dr Sally Anne Collis State Pathologist. A postmorem will be carried out on the remains of Michael Snee later today,” he said.

“I am not releasing any details of the postmortem examinations for operational reasons. Shortly after 1.30am this morning, a male in his early 20s was arrested for murder. This male remains in custody at Sligo Garda Station detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 and I cannot make any further comment on this part of the investigation.”

Superintendent Glacken thanked the local community for their assistance in the investigation so far.

“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,” he said.

“It is indeed heartening to see such cross-community support at this time. However, I continue to appeal to the public for their assistance in that regard. We’re also actively investigating whether there is a hate related motive to these murders.”

He appealed to anyone who may have been approached or assaulted in recent days to contact the Garda incident room at Sligo Garda Station.

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Aidan Moffitt

Aidan Moffitt

Aidan Moffitt

“An Garda Síochána will endeavour to seek out all of the available evidence and ultimately it will be a matter for a court to decide on that motivation behind these appalling crimes,” he said.

“Gardaí are also investigating whether Michael and Aidan met their attacker online, meeting people online is a normal activity, it should be a safe activity, but as with any online activity everybody should be aware of personal safety advice which we provide on our website,” Supt Glacken said.

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A Garda forensic officer at the scene in Cartron Heights, Sligo, Ireland, following the death of Aidan Moffitt. Picture: PA

A Garda forensic officer at the scene in Cartron Heights, Sligo, Ireland, following the death of Aidan Moffitt. Picture: PA

A Garda forensic officer at the scene in Cartron Heights, Sligo, Ireland, following the death of Aidan Moffitt. Picture: PA

“We continue to explore all of the circumstances of these cases and are examining another recent incident which occurred in the Sligo area. I’m appealing to any person who may have been the subject of any unwanted approaches or who was assaulted to contact the incident room at Sligo Garda Station.”

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Flowers at the scene in Cartron Heights, Sligo, following the death of Aidan Moffitt. PA

Flowers at the scene in Cartron Heights, Sligo, following the death of Aidan Moffitt. PA

Flowers at the scene in Cartron Heights, Sligo, following the death of Aidan Moffitt. PA

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he was “shocked" and “worried” by the two deaths.

“I just really wanted to say, I’ve been speaking to some of our members in Sligo last night, and I just really wanted to say how shocked and how worried I am actually by the two murders that appeared to have occurred in Sligo over the last couple of days,” he told RTÉ.

His comments come as a close friend of murdered Sligo-based businessman and Fine Gael activist said the words “hate” and “Aidan” do not belong in the same sentence.

Blain Gaffney described the killing of his “honest”, “positive” and “caring” friend as “just horrific”.

Mr Gaffney said Aidan Moffitt was “dignified” and the way he died was the polar opposite of that.

“It’s hard to believe what happened, and I’d be looking to speak about Aidan as the positive person he was, and remember Aidan for who he was and not what happened to him,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme.

“He was very, very intelligent, a very honest, caring person who… he was just an all-around good guy.

“He was a very caring person, very dignified and what happened wasn’t any way dignified and it’s just horrific.”

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Helen McEntee said today: "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.

"I would also like to express my deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Aidan Moffitt, and to the friends and family of the man who was also killed last night. They are in our thoughts today."

Neighbour Thomas McCarrick described Mr Snee as a “quiet decent man.”

“I knew him well,” he said.

“He was a nice quiet fella. His sight wasn’t great. He worked in St John’s Hospital. "He worked as a care assistant.

"It’s a shock.

"I saw the ambulance first and I thought he was maybe sick or something. The next thing the police car came flying down, then I knew something was really wrong.

"He had the house like a palace. It was the nicest house with the most beautiful tiles.

"He was very good to his neighbours. There was a couple living next to him and they both died of cancer. He was very good to them. He was very good to them in their final months.”

Another neighbour said: “He was like a church mouse. You wouldn’t know he was there unless you went looking for him.

“But if you needed him he was there for you.

“How can anyone do something like that. It is the cruellest of cruel.

“It’s unreal.

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Garda superintendent Aidan Glacken (centre) speaking to the media outside Sligo Garda station. PA

Garda superintendent Aidan Glacken (centre) speaking to the media outside Sligo Garda station. PA

Garda superintendent Aidan Glacken (centre) speaking to the media outside Sligo Garda station. PA

“God love him. Words fail me now. You mind your business and go about your daily life and this can happen.

“It’s sick. Everyone is horrified. It’s against humanity what has happened here.

“I got to know him through his former neighbour and he was lovely.

“He had the most gorgeous friendly little dog. I think I need to escape from here today I will go mad.”

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Gardaí at the scene where the body of Aidan Moffitt was found. Picture: James Connolly

Gardaí at the scene where the body of Aidan Moffitt was found. Picture: James Connolly

Gardaí at the scene where the body of Aidan Moffitt was found. Picture: James Connolly

A neighbour of Mr Snee said: “He was like a church mouse. You wouldn’t know he was there unless you went looking for him.

“But if you needed him he was there for you.

“How can anyone do something like that. It is the cruellest of cruel.

“It’s unreal.

“God love him. Words fail me now. You mind your business and go about your daily life and this can happen.

“It’s sick. Everyone is horrified. It’s against humanity what has happened here.

“I got to know him through his former neighbour and he was lovely.

“He had the most gorgeous friendly little dog. I think I need to escape from here today I will go mad.”

More to follow…


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