'Deeply saddened' | 

LGBTI+ Ireland call for hate crime legislation following suspected homophobic killings

“The LGBTI+ community has the right to feel and be safe on our streets, and online.”

Michael Snee & Aidan Moffitt

Clodagh Meaney

LGBTI+ Ireland called for hate crime legislation following two suspected homophobic killings in Sligo.

It comes as Gardaí are probing whether the murders of two men in Co Sligo are not only connected, but also homophobic in nature.

Michael Snee (58) was found dead at his home in Sligo on Tuesday. It came following killing of Aidan Moffitt (42), who was found dead in his home on Monday night.

Officers are understood to be investigating whether the killings were hate crimes as it is believed the men met their killer/s on dating apps.

Paula Fagan, CEO of LGBTI+ Ireland said it has been a dark week for the LGBTI+ community in Ireland.

“We are still reeling from the vicious homophobic assault on Dame Street in Dublin in recent days and, now, we are deeply saddened by events in Sligo,” she said.

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones. These devastating crimes bring to the fore the need for comprehensive Hate Crime legislation, and I – along with other sectoral representatives – will be speaking with lawmakers over the coming days to stress the need for them to redouble their efforts and ensure the forthcoming legislation is effective, comprehensive and enacted with urgency.”

“The LGBTI+ community has the right to feel and be safe on our streets, and online.”

“The focus of recent events must remain firmly on the perpetrators of violence against LGBTI+ people,” she continued.

“These crimes are on the extreme end of a spectrum of violence experienced by the LGBTI+ community and highlight the vulnerabilities and very real fears of the wider community.”

“In 2021 our National LGBT Helpline received 21 calls because of violence, and we fear that many more people do not report hate incidents to us or to the Gardaí, due to the normalisation of homophobia and transphobia in society.”

“Work done by the Hate and Hostility Research Group at the University of Limerick in 2019, revealed that one in five of those surveyed had been punched, hit or physically attacked in public for being LGBTI+ and 1 in 3 had been threatened with physical violence,” she continued adding: “These statistics are stark reminder of the violence that our community still faces.”

On Monday, at approximately 8.30pm, Gardaí from Sligo Garda Station attended at a private residence at Cartron Heights, Sligo, following a call from the public.

There Gardaí discovered the body of Aidan Moffitt, who was the subject of a serious physical assault and had also suffered significant injuries.

At approximately 10.30pm on the following night an officer from Sligo Garda Station attended at a home at Connaughton Road, Sligo, following the receipt of a 999 call.

There they Gardaí discovered the body of Michael Snee who had been subject of a serious physical assault and had suffered significant injuries.

Both scenes were sealed off as the Garda Technical Bureau conduct a detailed forensic examination of each scene.

A post mortem was carried out on the remains of Aidan Moffitt on Monday at University Hospital Sligo by Dr Sally Ann Collis, State Pathologist.

A post mortem will be carried out on the remains of Michael Snee on Tuesday.

Chief Superintendent Glacken said he would not be releasing any details of the post mortem examination “for operational reasons”.

A man in his early 20s who was arrested for murder shortly after 1.30am this morning remains in custody, Gardaí said, and is detained under section 4 Criminal Justice Act 1984.

The investigation is ongoing.

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