By Cate McCurry, PA
Friends of a 41-year-old man, whose body was found at his Co Sligo home, have paid tribute to him.
Aidan Moffitt was described as someone who “lit up the world”, and was kind and caring.
Gardaí have launched a murder investigation into his death.
It was confirmed on Tuesday evening that gardaí were investigating whether Mr Moffitt met his attacker online.
Gardaí are also investigating whether there was a “hate-related motive” in the murder.
Mr Moffitt’s body was discovered at a house in Cartron Heights at around 8.30pm on Monday.
Mr Moffitt suffered what gardaí described as “significant physical injuries”.
His close friend Blaine Gaffney said his death and the manner in how was killed is “very hard to believe”.
Mr Gaffney said his friend was a “positive person” who he wanted to be remembered for who he was and not what happened to him.
“He was very intelligent, very honest and very caring individual,” he told RTÉ Morning Ireland.
“He was a good guy and very dignified, and what happened wasn’t dignified, and it’s just, just horrific.”
Mr Gaffney said he got to know Mr Moffitt through the social scene in Sligo, but the pair grew closer a number of years ago when he became involved in political circles.
Mr Moffitt helped Mr Gaffney, both Fine Gael activists, when he ran for office in Sligo.
“He was a very keen political activist, very intelligent person,” Mr Gaffney added.
“He was the brains behind the operation.
“He was very strategic and he could see things developed before many others.
“He was a very, very good supporter, a very strong advocate of the policies of our party, but also somebody who could see trends develop and we use that to our benefit.”
Mr Moffitt provided finance products around Sligo and the Northwest area of the country.
“He was selling properties in and around the Northwest, and he was involved with other people providing mortgages and life insurance,” Mr Gaffney added.
“He was that type of a character and very, very smart in terms of investments and pensions.”
He described Mr Moffitt’s death as “very undignified”.
“It’s quite chilling.
“It’s quite scary,” he added.
“This particular thing will be really, really scary, that somebody so dignified could be treated so undignifiedly and to think that it could be a hate-related thing.
“You could never say the words hate and Aidan, he lit up the world and he had this really infectious smile, really infectious manners and very friendly, caring, kind person.
“To think that something to do with hate or hate crime could be even in the same sentence as his name is just too hard to comprehend.
“There’s an awful lot of people in Sligo who were very scared.”
It comes as gardaí in Sligo investigate the death of a second man found with significant injuries in an apartment.
A man in his 20s was arrested on suspicion of murder after the discovery of the dead man, who was in his late 50s.
“The whole place is in a state of shock,” Mr Gaffney added.
Around a dozen floral tributes have been left outside the home of Mr Moffitt.
Forensic examination of the scene is continuing.