Anger as UCD Prof says Sligo murders caused by feminists who believe in biology over trans identity

A gender studies professor at University College Dublin has suggested the murders which took place this week in Sligo were rooted in a ‘never ending transphobia’ from people she described as Gender Criticals – usually women who believe that a person’s sex is biological and not fluid. 

In a tweet posted in the wake of the brutal killings of Aidan Moffitt, 42, and Michael Snee, 59, in Sligo, Dr McAuliffe, director of gender studies at UCD, slammed those who she branded ‘transphobic’ for expressing sympathy for the victims.

“My anger at seeing the GCs [Gender Criticals] express sympathy at the horrific Sligo murders is off the charts. Their never-ending transphobia has played no small part in feeding into an increase in anti LGBT+ expression (here & IRL) & attacks – you hurt one of us, you hurt all of us #LGBTWithTheT,” Prof McAuliffe wrote in a now-deleted tweet.

Moffitt, a former Fine Gael constituency secretary for Sligo-Leitrim, was discovered at his home in Cartron Heights at around 8.30pm on Monday. He was beheaded and parts of his body were mutilated. It is understood that he met his attacker online via gay dating app Grindr. 

Snee, 59, was killed in his home on Connaughton Road the following day. He sustained similar injuries to Moffitt and was discovered by gardai on Tuesday night.

On Thursday, a man appeared in court charged with the murders of the two men. Yousef Palani, 22, with an address at Markievicz Heights in Sligo, is also accused of attacking a third man in the town on 9 April. The Times reported that Palani is of middle eastern origin, but a naturalised Irish citizen.

As well as singling out those who are gender critical – people who believe that sex is determined by biology, so that a child both with a penis, for example is a boy –  McAuliffe lamented her belief that Ireland is not as  ‘progressive’ as some think.

“It’s nothing new. This hatred comes to the fore every so often,” she said.

She added: “Sometimes you forget and think the world has progressed, but this hatred comes home every so often. While we pay lip service to Ireland being a welcome and inclusive society, there is still huge homophobia, transphobia, racism and misogyny today.”

She also pushed for hate crime legislation, saying it had to “have teeth” to be effective, while claiming it would help solve a range of issues.

“If hate crime legislation is strongly enforced, it can help eradicate homophobia, racism, and misogyny,” she said.

As pointed out by Gript editor John McGuirk on Thursday though, “The difficulty is this: There is no evidence at all, at this stage – and nor is there likely to be at any stage – that these murders would have been prevented by hate crime legislation. Nor is it in any way likely that hate crime legislation, were it in place, would impact the outcome of any prosecution that may take place.”

One Gender Critical group, the Countess, a volunteer-led organisation of women who work to raise awareness on the importance of single-sex spaces for women and children in Ireland while highlighting the implications of transgender policies, criticised McAuliffe’s comments.

Speaking with Gript, Laoise Uí Aodha de Brún, founder of the Countess, said:

“I would like to extend our sympathy to the families of Adrian Moffitt and Michael Snee who were targeted online and killed in their own homes in Sligo and express our solidarity with the gay community which has been left deeply shaken by the viciousness and brutality of these murders. 

“To blame the murders on a so-called ‘rising tide of LGBT hate’ caused by the Gender Critical movement is as astonishing as it is reckless and libellous.”

She continued: “Dr McCauliffe’s assertion that grassroots activism around the erasure of Women’s rights and child safeguarding in Ireland has somehow led to these deaths is as intellectually lazy as it is slanderous. The making of a disturbed and or radicalised homophobic murderer has nothing whatsoever to do with the words or deeds of our movement.

“Put simply, these murders and this attack where a man lost his eye, are all acts of male violence. Blaming them on people like me who are critical of gender ideology because it erodes our basic societal safeguards against male violence is risible.

“If Dr McAuliffe cared to think beyond the axiomatic slogans that she seems so fond of, she would soon realise that trans activism is a threat to same-sex attracted people also. LGB leaders have foolishly allowed the T to infiltrate and dominate their movement to the detriment of their hard-won rights. Rights, which we all, in the gender critical movement stand by and seek to protect.”

McAuliffe’s remarks also came in for criticism online from others. Sunday Independent columnist Eilis wrote: “Now a teacher of “gender studies” has decided that her response to the two awful murders no one yet understand is to chastise women who believe in biology and wish to maintain female-only spaces and who are already subject to rape and death threats. Shocking.”

“Wide of the mark. Women didn’t commit these crimes,” another person wrote. 

“A violent man kills 2 other men. And women who wish to protect their identity are to blame? This from an academic in Gender Studies,” another rebuttal read.

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