Gardaí investigating Sligo murders focus on suspect’s online dating history

Detectives try to locate members of gay community who may have interacted with suspect (22)

Gardaí remove the body of Michael Snee from his home in Connaughton Road, Sligo, following his murder. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Gardaí are trying to track down members of the gay community who may have had online interactions with a man suspected of murdering two men in Sligo in recent days.

Aidan Moffitt (42) and Michael Snee (58) are both believed to have met the suspect on an online dating app before inviting him to their homes where they were murdered. Both their bodies were found badly mutilated.

A 22-year-old man who lives in the local area remains in custody at Sligo Garda station. The suspect, who has no previous convictions, was arrested at his Sligo home, three hours after the discovery of Mr Snee’s remains.

Mr Snee, a care assistant in the local St John’s Hospital, was discovered in his home by two of his nieces on Tuesday night.


Garda sources said they are not searching for any other suspects but are still eager to gather as much evidence as possible from the public, including anyone who may have been approached in a suspicious manner recently.

The investigation is now focused on the recent online activity of the suspect, particularly people he contacted on dating apps. Gardaí are contacting men he may have contacted to determine if they can aid the investigation or if they have come to any harm themselves which they may have been reluctant to report.

No further victims

Sources said last night gardaí are confident there are no further victims whose remains have yet to be discovered. Gardaí have gone through a list of missing men in the general area and determined there is no one who meets the description of a likely victim.

In a statement, gardaí said they are examining if there was a “hate motive” for the murders. However, sources close to the investigation say it is still unclear if the men were killed specifically for their sexuality.

“It’s complicated. It might not be that we get a clear answer. The suspect himself is not necessarily giving clear answers,” said one garda.

There is increasing evidence that another attack in the town, which occurred last Friday night, is linked to the two murders. During that incident a man was stabbed in the face, leading to the loss of one eye. The victim, a local man who works in hospitality, remains in hospital.

Mr Moffitt, a Fine Gael activist who worked in the property business, was likely murdered on Sunday evening, sometime after he left the Village Inn pub.

His remains were discovered in his home by a cleaner on Monday night.

It is not known when Mr Snee was killed or how long his body lay in his home before being discovered.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times