A man of Middle Eastern origin, who is now a naturalised Irish citizen living in Sligo, has been arrested for the murders of two men in Sligo according to reports.
According to The Times one of the victims, Aidan Moffitt, was beheaded after being violently attacked in his own home. Mr Moffit and Michael Snee, both single men, were believed to have been contacted by their killer on the gay dating app, Grindr, before being killed in their homes.
The paper reports that detectives “are continuing to question a man in his twenties who was arrested in Sligo” and “the suspect, who is originally from the Middle East but is a naturalised Irish citizen living in Sligo, was arrested by an armed response team.”
Detectives say that the suspect was identified from CCTV footage taken near one of the victims’ homes. Phone data is believed to have shown that the man was in contact with the two victims shortly before he died.
The Times also reports that Gardai believe the suspect was planning to kill more victims – and that he had compiled a list of men he had contacted on the dating app. They also believe that at least one another man was the victim of a violent assault after agreeing to meet the suspect.
The killings have caused profound shock and fear in the town, in particular because of their gruesome nature, and because the victims were well-known and liked in their communities.
Mr Moffitt (42) was a Fine Gael activist and his colleague and friend Blaine Gaffney told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programm that he was “a very honest, caring person … he was just an all-around good guy.”
“But more than that, a really, really good man with a good heart and to think that something like this could happen is just shocking. I just can’t comprehend what’s happening.”
The body of Michael Snee (58) was found by his teenage nieces who went to check on their beloved uncle when he failed to respond to texts and messages.
Fr Noel Rooney, parish priest of St Joseph’s and Calry, who described the murders as “beyond belief” said Mr Snee was “just a –gentle soul”.
Garda superintendent Aidan Glacken told a press conference yesterday: “Michael and Aidan were well known and respected in this community.”
“They were assaulted and murdered in their own homes. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at this time and indeed their friends and the wider community in Sligo.”