Families remember ‘kind’, ‘fun’ and ‘caring’ Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt who were murdered by Yousef Palani

Man (23) given two life sentences for the murders of two men in Sligo last year

Michael Snee was “kind and fun and he loved life” while Aidan Moffitt had a “kind, caring and fun-loving nature”, the men’s families have said after a man was sentenced for their murders.

On Monday, Yousef Palani (23) was sentenced to two life sentences for the murder of the two gay men in Sligo last year.

Palani murdered the two men and seriously assaulted a third during a four-day spree of violence in Sligo town. Gardaí believe he would have continued to kill gay men if he had not been arrested.

Palani tracked the men down using an LGBT dating app before stabbing them to death in their homes and mutilating their bodies.


Speaking outside the court after the sentencing on Monday, Emma Fitzpatrick, a relative of Mr Snee, described him as a “loving son, a brother, an uncle, a godparent, a brother-in-law and a friend”.

“Michael was kind and fun and he loved life. Michael lived for us, his family and we all adored him. He has been taken from us in the most devastating manner. We, his family, will forever mourn his loss; our hearts are broken, our pain immeasurable,” she said.

“We pray that no other family will ever have to experience the trauma that we have had to endure. We want to sincerely thank all of our family and friends… for their kindness.”

Ms Fitzpatrick thanked the emergency services and investigating gardaí for their work on the case.

“Today is about justice for Michael. Michael, you will forever live in our hearts,” she added.

Speaking on behalf of the Moffitt family, solicitor William Henry said the family wanted to ensure Mr Moffitt was remembered for “the great person he was, and not for the events that tragically ended his life”.

“Aidan had a smile and personality that lit up the world. His caring, generous and fun-loving nature made him a beloved presence in his family and friends’ lives,” he said.

“Known for being a charismatic character in his community, Aidan’s wit, charm and storytelling abilities brought joy to those around him. Family was so important to Aidan and he was the best son he could be to his mother over the years.”

Mr Henry said the family were “completely devastated” and would “forever be heartbroken and empty” because of what happened.

On Monday, Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring imposed a mandatory life sentence on Palani for each count of murder. She also sentenced Palani to 20 years for the attack on Anthony Burke, the man he assaulted. The sentences will run concurrently.

Ms Justice Ring said he had committed “unspeakable violence” against three innocent men.

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is Health Correspondent of The Irish Times