Three charges | 

Yousef Palani (22) charged in court with murder of two men in Sligo

The 22-year-old faces a third charge of assault causing serious harm

Yousef Palani appeared in court in Sligo

Eavan Murray

A man has been remanded in custody after being charged with the murders of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee in Sligo.

The accused man, Yousef Palani,(22) of Markievicz Heights, Sligo, was brought before a special sitting of Sligo District Court in front of Judge Sandra Murphy at 4.45 pm on Thursday.

Flanked by detectives, Palani was escorted into the courtroom and placed on the front bench in the main body of the courtroom, three rows in front of relatives of the deceased men.

Palani was also charged with causing serious assault to another man, Mr Anthony Burke, who was in court, last Saturday, April 9, at Cleveragh Road, Sligo.

Aidan Moffitt (41) was found dead at his home in Cartron Heights, in Sligo town, at 8.30 pm on Monday, April 11.

The murder charge states he was killed on April 10.

The body of Michael Snee (58) was found less than 24 hours later at 10.30pm on Tuesday at his home in the City View estate, Connaughton Road, Sligo, on April 12.

In relation to the murder of Aidan Moffitt, Detective Garda Conor Jordan of Sligo Garda Station gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution.

Aidan Moffitt, 42, (left) and Michael Snee, 58 both from Sligo, were found dead in their own homes (Garda/PA)

Det Jordan told Judge Murphy he arrested the accused at 2.57pm, and Mr Palani made no reply when cautioned.

In relation to the murder of Michael Snee, Detective James Conneely told Judge Murphy he arrested Palani at 1.46 pm for the purpose of charging him with an offence.

Det Conneely told Judge Murphy that at 2.55 pm, he charged and cautioned Palini that he was “not obliged to say anything but what you do say will be taken down in evidence,” to which Palani replied: “No, I understand that Gary.”

Judge Murphy clarified with Det Conneely the exact words said by Mr Palani.

In relation to the assault of Anthony Burke, Detective Garda Kevin O’Hora told Judge Murphy he charged and cautioned the accused at 3pm, to which Palani made no reply.

Defence solicitor Gerry McGovern told Judge Murphy that there would be no application for bail.

The accused was remanded in custody to appear at Sligo District Court via video link on April 21, 2022.

Anthony Burke outside Sligo court. Picture; Gerry Mooney

Mr McGovern requested his client be placed on a “suicide watch” while in the custody of the prison service.

Mr McGovern also asked Judge Murphy for an immediate psychiatric assessment.

“This is quite urgent,” he said

“I am asking he be assessed by a psychiatrist, not in a few days, immediately.”

He said this should be carried out by a psychiatrist attached to the prison service or “one from Dundrum”.

“I ask that be marked as urgent.”

Judge Murphy directed a psychiatric assessment be carried out immediately and said that “out of an abundance of caution”, she would also direct that Mr Palani be provided with any medical treatment necessary.

Judge Murphy also granted an application by Mr McGovern for free legal aid for the accused.

The court heard Yousef Palani is unemployed and “not in a position to meet” the cost of the charges.

A large crowd assembled outside the Sligo Court House on Teeling Street in the centre of the Sligo town as Palani was transferred the short distance from Sligo Garda station.

The accused man, dressed in a grey tracksuit, sat with his arms folded and looked straight ahead at Judge Murphy throughout the short hearing.

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