Timeline: How two Sligo killings unfolded

Gardaí are investigating the killings of 42-year-old Aidan Moffitt and 58-year-old Michael Snee
Timeline: How two Sligo killings unfolded

Gardaí are investigating the killings of 42-year-old Aidan Moffitt and 58-year-old Michael Snee in Sligo town in recent days, as their deaths send shock waves across the local community.

Here is a timeline of what we know to date about the killings.

Saturday morning, April 9th

A man in his 40s is seriously injured following an assault in the racecourse area of Sligo Town, losing an eye in the attack.

Sunday afternoon, April 10th

Businessman and Fine Gael activist Aidan Moffitt is last seen alive in public, leaving the Village Inn Pub in Sligo town. He is last seen online by friends shortly afterwards.

Monday 8.30pm, April 11th

The body of a man aged in his 40s is discovered at a house in the Cartron Heights estate. Gardaí say the victim has received "significant physical injuries". It is believed his body has lain undiscovered for 24 hours.

Tuesday afternoon, April 12th

The victim is named locally as Aidan Moffitt, a businessman who ran a company called Hazelfort involved in selling homes in Sligo. Tributes are paid, with Mr Moffitt described as a warm and friendly man who was well-liked by all.

It is understood that his body was found badly mutilated. It is removed from the house and taken to University Hospital Sligo for a postmortem examination by the State pathologist.

Tuesday evening, April 12th

Gardaí officially open a murder investigation into Mr Moffitt’s killing, with technical and forensic examinations of his house ongoing.

They say they are “actively investigating” if there was any “hate-related motive” to the killing or if the deceased man had met his attacker online.

Tuesday 10.30pm, April 12th

Gardaí are called to an apartment on Connaughton Road in Sligo town, a short distance from the first crime scene, where they discover the body of a man in his late 50s.

He has also received “significant physical injuries” as in the case of Mr Moffitt. His body remains at the scene pending the arrival of the Garda Technical Bureau and the State pathologist.

Wednesday 1.45am, April 13th

Armed gardaí flood Sligo town as they attempt to track down a suspect.

Following “intense” local Garda activity and enquiries, local gardaí assisted by the Armed Support Unit arrest a man in his early 20s in the town on suspicion of murder.

He is detained for questioning at Sligo Garda station under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Wednesday morning, April 13th

The killings are condemned by Government leaders. The Taoiseach says he is “deeply concerned” by the “horrific” killing of Mr Moffitt and by the reports of the second violent death.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says he is “deeply troubled” by the killings, while Minister for Justice Helen McEntee says gardaí will “investigate these appalling crimes and ensure justice is done.”

Locals speak of a “cloud of worry and fear” hanging over Sligo following the two violent deaths and a serious attack on another man.

Wednesday 11.55am, April 13th

At a press conference, gardaí name the second man found dead in Sligo as 58-year-old Michael Snee.

Garda superintendent Aidan Glacken confirms two separate murder investigations have been launched into the deaths of Mr Snee and Mr Moffitt.

Investigators are keeping an “open mind”, he says, and are actively investigating if there is a hate-related motive to the killings or if the men met their attacker online.

Both crime scenes remain sealed off as the Garda Technical Bureau conducts a detailed forensic examination of each.

Gardaí appeal for anyone with any information “no matter how insignificant” to contact officers at Sligo Garda station, with all information to be “treated in the strictest confidence."

Sligo Garda station can be reached on the dedicated incident room phone number 071 915 7088.

Wednesday afternoon, April 13th

Investigators believe the two men were killed by a man they met on an online dating app and are investigating if there was a homophobic element to the crimes, according to a report in The Irish Times.

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