Murders of two gay men in Ireland serve as brutal reminder that LGBT+ people still aren’t safe

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4/14/22

In September 1982, a gay man called Declan Flynn was brutally murdered in Dublin’s Fairview Park by a group of teenage boys for the simple crime of being gay. At that time, being gay actually was a crime – homosexuality wasn’t decriminalised until 1993 in Ireland. The five teenage boys, who ranged in age from 14 to 19, walked away with suspended sentences. It is almost 40 years since Declan Flynn was killed, and in some ways, Ireland is a radically different country for LGBT+ people. We have equal marriage, relatively progressive gender recognition laws – we even have a gay tánaiste (deputy prime minister). But in other ways, it seems that things haven’t changed all that much since 1982. That fact came into sharp focus over the last few days as news broke that two men had been killed in their own homes in Sligo, a town in the north-west of the country. The body of Aidan Moffitt, 42, was found badly mutilated in his home on Monday evening (11 April). The following evening, Michael Snee’s nieces discovered his body at his home, according to the Irish Independent. An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s police force, believe that both men were killed by the same person. A 22-year-old man has been arrested and is being questioned. The murder investigations are still in their early stages, but as of now, Gardaí believe the killer targeted his victims after meeting them on Grindr. According to The Times, detectives are investigating the killings as potential hate crimes.

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