Gardaí investigate ‘hate-related motive’ to murder of Fine Gael activist

Aidan Moffitt’s badly mutilated body was found in his home in Sligo

Gardaí are investigating if there is a "hate-related motive" to the murder of Fine Gael activist Aidan Moffitt who was found dead in his home in Cartron Heights, Sligo.

The badly mutilated body of Mr Moffitt (41) was discovered about 8.30pm on Monday evening.

Gardaí said he had received “significant physical injuries” and there were clear signs he died violently.

One line of investigation is that Mr Moffitt met his killer on a dating app or online at sometime on Sunday evening and then let them into his home.

Detectives will also examine if the murder has any links to a recent stabbing attack in Sligo which left a man with serious eye injuries.

Garda sources said the victim’s home was equipped with a strong security system, with a large fence and CCTV. There was no sign of a break-in at the property.

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

Gardaí are describing his death as “unexplained” while they await the results of a postmortem by the State Pathologist.

In a statement issued on Tuesday night, gardaí urged people to take particular care when speaking with or intending to meet up with persons they have met online.

“Get a face picture from the person you intend to meet. Be very cautious of a person who doesn’t share a recent face picture with you,” they said in a statement.

“Ask for their social media handles... Be wary of new accounts with low follower count and few posts.

“Let friends know where you’re going... Meet in a public place first. Take a few minutes to chat and feel confident you want to proceed before going somewhere private.”

Mr Moffitt, who worked in the property sector and was a peace commissioner for his local area, served on a voluntary basis on a number of local communities and was very active with his party.

He ran a company called Hazelfort which was involving in the selling of homes in Sligo and was a graduate of UCD and the Institute of Technology in Sligo.

Close friend and fellow Fine Gael activist Blaine Gaffney said he was an “all-round good guy”.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime Correspondent of The Irish Times

Marese McDonagh

Marese McDonagh

Marese McDonagh, a contributor to The Irish Times, reports from the northwest of Ireland

READ MORE