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Homophobia may have been behind fatal attack

A 60-year-old man who died following a brutal assault in his own home may have been the victim of a homophobic attack.

Cyril Moran, of Cartron Bay in Sligo, died at Sligo General Hospital yesterday after three days on a life support machine.

The victim, who was openly gay, allowed his rented accommodation north of the river to be used for drink and drugs parties.

Two local men in their late twenties were arrested separately at the weekend in connection with the assault.



Question

A 28-year-old man was released without charge and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. Gardai are continuing to question a 29-year-old man this morning.

Gardai believe the injured victim was driven to Sligo General Hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning by his attacker, or a witness to the attack, who dropped him at the door and drove away.

Gardai are studying CCTV footage from the hospital car park in a bid to identify the car and the driver.

A garda source confirmed that investigators were examining a possible homophobic motive to the assault.

"It is one of the lines of inquiry that is being pursued," he said.

They believe he was known to at least one of his attackers.

Mr Moran suffered serious head and body injuries in the attack, but was able to walk into the hospital unaided.

His condition deteriorated shortly after his admission and he was placed on a life support machine.

Shocked neighbours and acquaintances of the reclusive Mr Moran described him as quiet and inoffensive.

"He was 100pc vulnerable, lost in his own gender," said one man last night.

An only child, he never drank or smoked, and was a regular Mass attender at the local Dominican Friary.

According to garda sources, neighbours frequently complained about noise at his house.



Drinking

"There were a lot of complaints to the owner of the house about the goings on, people coming and going at all hours of the day and night, drinking outside, making noise, that sort of thing," said a garda source.

A murder investigation will be officially launched following a post mortem examination, which is expected to get under way later this morning.

hnews@herald.ie


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