Gardaí investigate if Sligo man met attacker online as murder probe launched

Aidan Mofitt, aged in his late 30s, was a Fine Gael activist who worked in the property sector
Gardaí investigate if Sligo man met attacker online as murder probe launched

Updated 7.55pm

Gardaí are investigating if a Sligo man whose body was found badly mutilated in his home had met his attacker online, as a murder investigation officially opened this evening.

Businessman and Fine Gael activist Aidan Moffitt is believed to have died violently after his body was discovered in his home in Cartron Heights, Sligo at about 8.30pm on Monday with serious injuries.

Gardaí confirmed the launch of a murder investigation this evening, adding they are “actively investigating” if there was any “hate related motive” to the murder or if the deceased man met his attacker online.

“The scene remains preserved and the Garda Technical Bureau continue to conduct technical and forensic examinations at the house,” a Garda statement said.

“This afternoon the man’s body has been removed from the house and taken to University Hospital Sligo where a postmortem will take place, conducted by Sally Anne Collis, State Pathologist.”

Gardaí are currently describing the death as “unexplained” while they await the results of the postmortem.

Last seen

Mr Moffitt was a single man who lived on his own in his house, which is located just outside Sligo town.

He was last seen in public on Sunday afternoon in the Village Inn Pub in Cartron and was last seen online by friends shortly afterwards, according to a report in The Irish Times.

Gardaí suspect the attack occurred sometime on Sunday evening and that his body remained undiscovered for about 24 hours.

There was no sign of a break-in and investigators believe Mr Moffitt likely allowed his assailant into his home before the attack.

One angle of investigation is likely to focus on if Mr Moffitt met a person on a dating app before letting them into his home.

In the wake of the attack, gardaí have urged the public to be cautious of those they meet online, advising that people ensure they have a photo of the person’s face, consider a live video call before meeting in-person and ask for social media handles.

People should also let friends know where they are going, meet in a public place first and think before accepting food or drink in case it is spiked.

Well-liked

Mr Mofitt was aged in his late 30s and was a Fine Gael activist who worked in the property sector, running a company called Hazelfort involving in selling homes in Sligo. He was also peace commissioner for the local area.

Originally from Roscommon, he has been described by those who knew him as a warm and friendly man who was well-liked by all.

Close friend and fellow Fine Gael activist Blaine Gaffney told The Irish Times: “He was someone who was well-liked by those who knew him. He was a messer, he was good craic and he’s not someone you would ever associate with what we’re hearing.

“It’s so, so in contrast to the person that he was. He was very loyal. He was a big supporter of my own politically,” said Mr Gaffney, who is a local area representative for Fine Gael in Sligo.

“He was just an all-round good guy. It’s just shocking, it doesn’t make sense.”

Gardaí in Sligo are appealing for anyone with any information on the murder to make contact, particularly those who were in Cartron Heights or the general Cartron area on the afternoon of Monday, April 11th up to 8.30pm.

Investigating gardaí can be contacted at a dedicated phone number at the incident room in Sligo Garda station at 071 915 7088, the Garda Confidential Line phone number 1800 666 111, or at any Garda station.

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