As hundreds of people gathered at the Dáil tonight to show their solidarity and shock at the deaths of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee in Sligo, the atmosphere was one of deep sadness, sadness and anger.
With many rainbow flags fluttering, LGBTQ+ community leaders declared they will not undermine 40 years of achievement.
LGBT Ireland’s Alan Edge said it’s important they come together as a community at times like these, but urged them to remember they have allies who support them through the pain of the past week.
He greeted Sheikh Dr. Umar Al Qadri addressing the crowd and saying they came together to confront the dehumanization of the LGBTI+ community.
Shoutout’s Afric Ní Chríodáin said it gives the community great confidence to see so many people there, adding: “Especially if this is your first time attending a public LGBTQ gathering. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for joining us and welcome.”
She called for more education in schools, saying young people must be allowed “to live in the light.”
“We protect each other because there is no other way to survive in this world,” she said.
“It reminds us that we cannot exist in isolation, that we cannot withdraw from one another, from our neighbors in the communities next to us, even if there are differences. We all rely on each other despite these differences, despite these distances and with these distances and these differences as empowering tools. That’s what community means at its core, it means standing together,” she said.
A minute’s silence was observed as people stood in somber thought.
Then the wistful and deeply poignant sounds of Somewhere Over the Rainbow sung by the Gloria LGBT+ choir delivered a throat pump in homage to the two dead.
Hundreds of people also gathered for a vigil in the town of Sligo tonight to commemorate Mr Moffitt, Mr Snee.
Large crowds gathered to show solidarity with the families of Aidan, 41, and Michael, 58, and the wider LGBTQ+ community.
Pictures of Mr Snee and Mr Moffitt were proudly displayed on the doors of the town hall.
The streets were lined with people to pay tribute to the two men violently killed.
Some people wore Pride colors and others wore Sligo Pride t-shirts.
A Pride flag was flown at half-mast in front of City Hall.
People have been encouraged to attend vigils across the country in the coming days to remember the two men as they were before their deaths.
Mr Moffitt was found dead at his home in Cartron Heights in the town of Sligo at 8.30pm last Monday.
The financial adviser, originally from Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, has lived in Cartron Heights in Sligo for the last few years.
Mr Snee’s body was found at his Connaughton Street home on Tuesday night. He worked at St. John’s Hospital as a nursing assistant.
https://www.independent.ie/news/large-crowds-gather-at-vigils-in-memory-of-aidan-moffitt-and-michael-snee-41557495.html Large crowds gather at vigils commemorating Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee