A 22-year-old man has appeared in court charged with the murders of two men in the Irish town of Sligo earlier this week.
In a story that has rocked the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland and internationally this week, Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt were both found dead in their separate homes in the same town of Sligo, Ireland, within a day of each other.
The victims – Snee, 58, and Moffitt, 42 – are both said to have lived alone and been “well known and respected” in the small community of Sligo, which has a population of around only 20,000 residents.
Moffit was found dead in his home on Monday night (11 April), while Snee was found dead at his residence a day later on Tuesday (12 April). Both had been badly mutilated and sustained similar injuries.
Snee had “been subject of a serious physical assault and had suffered significant injuries”, said Garda superintendent Aidan Glacken, while Moffit’s body was described as “badly mutilated”, reports The Irish Examiner.
The suspect, who was arrested on Tuesday (12 April), was said to be working his way through a list of men whom he had befriended on on Grindr, according to reports from The Times, with plans to kill more ‘in the coming days’.
Yousef Palani, a 22-year-old man, whose address was given as Markievicz Heights, Sligo, is accused of murdering both Moffitt and Snee, along with the savage attack of a third man in the same town on 9 April. The latter victim, who survived, reportedly lost an eye during the brutal attack.
Palani was detained by armed police on Wednesday afternoon and charged at Sligo District Court today (14 April) where the court was told he made no reply to the assault charge and said he understood the two murder charges when they were put to him.
Large crowds gathered outside the court ahead of the accused’s appearance and relatives of the two murder victims and the man who was assaulted were in the courtroom for the short hearing. Witnesses reported angry scenes outside the court, with some members of the public banging on the side of the van holding Palani, with people having to be held back by police.
An angry crowd outside #Sligo courthouse as Yousef Palani is driven away, after being charged with murder pic.twitter.com/PdP9eyeu53
— Stephen Murphy (@SMurphyTV) April 14, 2022
Palani’s defence lawyers requested he be put on suicide watch by the Castlerea Prison service and that he undergo an urgent psychiatric assessment.
Judge Sandra Murphy said that out of an “abundance of caution” she would ask that any necessary medical treatment be provided to the accused.
Vigils have been planned across Ireland in memory of the two men.
Click here for the original story.
Yousef Palani, 22, leaving Sligo District Court. He is charged with two counts of murder and one count of assault. pic.twitter.com/9pNlFQqn2O
— Garreth MacNamee (@garmacnamee) April 14, 2022
🏳️🌈”We fly the rainbow flag today at City Hall as a symbol of our solidarity with the friends and family of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee and the LGBTQI+ community in Cork & Ireland. Cork, a Rainbow City, stands with our LGBTQI+ friends and colleagues”
– Lord Mayor @KelleherColm pic.twitter.com/yXGSHoMMtx
— Cork City Council (@corkcitycouncil) April 14, 2022
A number of vigils in memory of Michael Snee & Aidan Moffitt will be held across the country in the coming days.
If more should be added, we will update this thread.
As of now, these are the vigils confirmed. Please check locally in case there are any changes. pic.twitter.com/uJvmbYq57Q
— Gay Community News (@GCNmag) April 14, 2022