Thousands attend vigils in memory of men killed in Sligo

·2-min read
People attend a vigil in Sligo (Carl Brennan/PA) (PA Wire)
People attend a vigil in Sligo (Carl Brennan/PA) (PA Wire)

Thousands of people have attended vigils across the island of Ireland in memory of two men killed in Sligo.

Aidan Moffitt, 42, and Michael Snee, 58, were found dead in their own homes in the town on the west coast earlier in the week.

A man was remanded in custody at Sligo District Court on Thursday after being charged with their murders.

Scenes at the vigil in Sligo town on Friday were replicated all over the island, with more than 30 events were organised in towns and cities on both sides of the border.

Many of the gatherings were organised by local LGBT groups.

Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Town Hall in Sligo to pay tribute to the men. Several speakers addressed the crowd, including the mayor of Sligo Arthur Gibbons.

Members of Mr Snee’s family were among those in attendance.

Isaac Griffin, from Sligo Pride and the group United Against Racism, told those gathered that the whole town was in shock.

The vigils were held in memory of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee (Carl Brennan/PA) (PA Wire)
The vigils were held in memory of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee (Carl Brennan/PA) (PA Wire)

“It has been extremely shocking for our community and for Sligo as a whole,” he said.

“I want to extend my deepest sympathies towards the families and friends as they grieve their losses and process these traumas at this time.”

Candles and flowers were laid on the steps of the building as the event, which was organised by Sligo Pride, drew to a close.

In Dublin, a large crowd assembled at the gates of the Dail parliament to hear speeches in tribute.

Catriona Bonner speaks at the vigil in Sligo (Carl Brennan/PA) (PA Wire)
Catriona Bonner speaks at the vigil in Sligo (Carl Brennan/PA) (PA Wire)

A choir sang as scores of rainbow flags were held aloft.

At the Belfast vigil there was a minute’s noise to symbolise a need for the voices of people in the LGBT community to be heard.

LGBT activist Jude Copeland told the crowd: “It’s a really horrible time but it’s one where our community can come together and care for each other and bits of solidarity and messages that we can share with each other.

“It’s a really difficult time for lots of people in the LGBT community where people are isolated, vulnerable and in very difficult situations in their life and we really must remember that.”

People attend a vigil outside Belfast City Hall (David Young/PA) (PA Wire)
People attend a vigil outside Belfast City Hall (David Young/PA) (PA Wire)

Mr Moffitt was a prominent businessman and a Fine Gael activist while Mr Snee worked as a care assistant.

Both have been described as well respected and liked in the local community. Their funerals will be held on Monday.

Yousef Palani, 22, of Markievicz Heights, Sligo, appeared before a judge at Sligo District Court on Thursday charged with murdering the men in their Sligo homes

He is charged with the murder of Mr Moffitt at Cartron Heights on April 10 and with the murder of Mr Snee at City View on April 12.

He was also charged with assaulting another man, Anthony Burke, causing serious harm in an incident at Cleveragh Road, Sligo on April 9.

Palani is to appear before the same court by video link on April 21.

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