Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he was “shocked” and “concerned” by the two deaths that have occurred in Sligo in recent days.
Mr Varadkar said this morning he spoke to Fine Gael members in Sligo who knew Aidan Moffitt, from Roscommon, who was murdered at his home on Monday.
Mr. Moffitt (41) served as Secretary and Chairman of the Fine Gael Branch.
The body of the second man, in his 50s, was found in a flat in Sligo last night and Gardaí have arrested a man in his 20s on “suspicion of murder”.
Mr Varadkar told RTÉ News he “would like to say a few words about what happened in Sligo and the death of Aidan Moffitt, who is a member of the party and is a branch secretary and branch chairman.
“I just really wanted to say I spoke to some of our members in Sligo last night and I just really wanted to say how shocked and how concerned I actually am about the two murders that appear to have happened in Sligo in the last few days. “
His comments come as a close friend of murdered Sligo businessman Aidan Moffitt, 41, said the words ‘hate’ and ‘Aidan’ should not be in the same sentence.
Blain Gaffney described the killing of his “honest,” “positive,” and “caring” friend as “just appalling.”
Mr Gaffney said he and Aidan Moffitt had been “very close” since 2016 and Mr Moffitt previously worked as his campaign manager when he was running for local elections a few years ago.
Mr Gaffney said Aidan Moffitt has a keen understanding of politics and is a “very strategic” activist.
Aidan Moffitt worked in personal finance, including real estate sales, and his friend said he was “very smart about finance and investing”.
Mr Gaffney said Aidan Moffitt was “worthy” and the way he died was the complete opposite of that.
“It’s hard to believe what happened and I would try to talk about Aidan as the positive person he was and remember Aidan for who he was and not what happened to him ‘ he told RTÉ Tomorrow Ireland Program.
“He was very, very intelligent, a very honest, caring person who… he was just an all-round good guy.
“He was a very caring person, very dignified and what happened was not dignified in any way and it’s just awful.”
Aidan Moffitt had recently returned home from a holiday in Spain and Mr Gaffney said while he was there Aidan became friends with one person and the couple made a “rotation” to Alicante together.
Mr Gaffeny said: “That was the type of man. He met someone, had some fun and went down to help them test drive their jeep.
“That was Aidan. From what I could tell he was having a really good time.”
Aidan Moffitt’s body was discovered at his home in Cartron Heights, Sligo Town at 8.30pm on Monday.
Gardaí believe he was the victim of a homophobia-motivated hate crime.
Mr Moffitt, a peace commissioner, suffered horrific injuries and was severely maimed during an attack that has left the community in Sligo and his native West Roscommon stunned.
Upon hearing the news of Aidan’s death, Mr Gaffney said the “terrifying” details and potential hate-related motive behind his murder were “pretty chilling”.
“It’s pretty scary. I know a lot of things that happened in Sligo have been talked about over the past four days, but this particular thing would be really, really scary,” he said.
“That someone so dignified could be treated so undignified, and to think it has to do with hate you never say the words hate and aidan.
“He lit the world. He had this really contagious smile, a really contagious manner. A caring, kind person, and to think anything hate or hate crime related could even be in the same sentence as his name is just too hard to understand .”
Mr Gaffney added that “many people in Sligo are very frightened” by the incidents that have taken place over the past few days, including the discovery of the body of another man in a flat in the town last night.
“The whole place is in shock,” he said.
Gardaí have asked anyone with information about either incident to contact them in confidence.
It comes as Gardaí have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a man’s body was found in a flat in the town of Sligo.
Officers were called to a flat on Connaughton Road around 10.30pm on Tuesday where the body of a man in his late 50s was found.
“The man had suffered significant physical injuries,” Gardaí said.
After what was described as an “intense” operation, Gardaí and the Armed Support Unit arrested a man in his early 20s in Sligo Town on suspicion of murder and he is being held for questioning.
This scene will remain intact and the Garda Technical Bureau will conduct technical and forensic investigations into the home.
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Helen McEntee said today: “I have spoken to the Garda Commissioner about the shocking events in Sligo. A Garda Síochána will investigate these horrific crimes and ensure justice is done. You will be supporting the people of Sligo and I urge anyone with information to report it to Gardaí.
“I also want to offer my deepest condolences to the friends and family of Aidan Moffitt and the friends and family of the man who was also killed last night. You are on our minds today.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/tanaiste-leo-varadkar-shocked-and-worried-by-recent-sligo-murders-41549743.html Tánaiste Leo Varadkar ‘shocked’ and ‘concerned’ at recent killings in Sligo