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RIP Funerals of Sligo victims Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee to take place today

On Thursday, a man was charged with murder in connection with both men’s deaths.

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The funerals of Sligo victims Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee will take place simultaneously this afternoon.

Both men died violently last week. Aidan Moffitt (41) was found dead at his home in Cartron Heights, in Sligo town, on Monday evening.

The body of Michael Snee (58) was found on Tuesday evening at his home in the City View estate, Connaughton Road.

On Thursday, a man was charged with murder in connection with both men’s deaths.

Aidan Moffitt’s removal from the Sharkey Funeral Home in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, is taking place at 11.30am this morning to Christ the King Church for funeral mass at 12pm.

A note on RIP.ie said the auctioneer, who had played a leading role in the Fine Gael party locally, will be “sadly missed and remembered with love by his heartbroken family."

Michael Snee’s removal from his family home in Cartron Point, Sligo, is taking place on Monday at 11.30am to Saint Joseph's Church, Ballytivnan, for funeral mass at 12pm.

The funeral notice on RIP.ie said Mr Snee was predeceased by his mother, Phil, and he was the “dearly loved” son of his father John.

The notice continued: “Cherished brother of Mary and Tina. Adored uncle of Aaron, Shannon and Sophie. Sadly missed by his loving family; brother-in-law Francis, aunts Marie and Kitty, cousins, relatives and friends.”

A series of vigils were held across the country for both men over the weekend, with further memorial events planned for this week.

On Friday, vigils in Dublin and Sligo drew crowds of thousands, with people travelling from far and wide to remember Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt and to support their families and one another.

Speaking at the event in Sligo town on Friday, chairperson of Sligo Pride, Caitriona Bonner, said there is sense of grief within the town over the last number of days.

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“We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of solidarity, the support from the wider communities across Ireland has been overwhelmingly and we are incredibly humbled,” she said.

A further four vigils will take place across Ireland this evening at 6pm.

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The vigil for Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt in Sligo on Friday. Photo: Mark Condren

The vigil for Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt in Sligo on Friday. Photo: Mark Condren

The vigil for Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt in Sligo on Friday. Photo: Mark Condren

The services are being held at the Square in Tralee, Kerry, Limerick’s Arthur’s Quay Park, Bishop Lacey Park in Cork and the Arklow Bandstand in Wicklow.

Meanwhile, a vigil has been organised for Tom Ruane Park in Ballina, Co Mayo, at 9pm on Wednesday evening.

Over the weekend, present Michael D Higgins offered his support to members of the LGBTQI+ community.

President Higgins expressed his “deepest condolences” with members of the public who have been impacted by Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee’s deaths.

He said that “horrific” recent events had shone a light on homophobia in Ireland where “heartbreakingly.... members of the gay community face homophobic comments and slurs, often unchallenged”.

He added: “We must do better.”

President Higgins continued: “So many of all our thoughts over recent days have been with our LGBTQI+ community and it is greatly heartening to see the outpouring of solidarity with them. I know this will have provided comfort to many people in what is a time of great distress, and I would like to express my deepest support and condolences to all those who have been directly impacted by a number of appalling recent events.

"It is important that we take this opportunity to reflect more deeply on the public space which we are creating as a society, and the freedom and safety within it. When it comes to behaviour, freedom and the expression of affection, ask the question if it is an equal space for members of the LGBTQI+ community?

“Seven years ago next month, we will recall how the public voted in overwhelming numbers to extend full and equal marriage rights to members of the LGBTQI+ community. This was an important and significant milestone and was a clear statement by the people of Ireland that all are entitled to equal legal recognition of their relationships, no matter what their sexual orientation is.

”Yet seven years later, when it comes to behaviour, we still hear far too regularly of members of the gay community being faced with homophobic comments and slurs, often unchallenged. Heartbreakingly, we hear friends or family members telling us that they do not feel comfortable holding the hand of their partner, of their husband or their wife, in public.

"This suggests an environment which somehow allows that while under the law someone’s sexuality will be tolerated, its expression must not be allowed. We must do better.

“Beyond the recent horrific events lies perhaps a challenge to address the lethargy which is impeding the fullest expression of themselves as citizens by members of the LGBTQI+ community in Irish society.

"As we go forward, it is surely necessary to address the roots of the assumptions that are sustaining these exclusions and such authoritarian actions in our communities and to consider what individual and collective actions we can take to provide a freer, diverse and inclusive space in our communities built on respect for equality and difference, not just in our laws but in our words and actions. In doing so, we will all benefit from the delivery of such full participation of our shared lives by all our citizens.”

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