Friday, October 7, 2022

Tributes paid at funerals of two men killed in Sligo

Tributes have been paid to Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee as the two men were laid to rest following separate funerals in counties Sligo and Roscommon.

Both men were killed in Sligo last week.

The Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran issued personal messages to be read out at the Funeral Masses of both men, saying the death of a loved one is never easy.

He added that this has been a particularly painful week for both families because they were taken away so suddenly and in the full glare of publicity.

Addressing both families he said: “I am grateful for the kindness with which you welcomed me when I called to your home and I know, from listening to what you told me, that each one of you has his or her own treasured memory.

“I trust that, in the months ahead, you will experience, through their occasional visits or phone calls, the healing presence of God’s Spirit at work in your lives,” he said.

Mr Moffitt, 41, was well known for his active involvement in the Fine Gael party locally and Bishop Doran said his love of politics was picked up at a young age from his father, Tom.

Mourners heard how Mr Moffitt loved politics, horse racing and a good night out.

Symbols of his life were brought to the altar including a blue and yellow Roscommon flag, a mallet and briefcase representing his career as an auctioneer, jockey silks of The Real Deal syndicate of which he was a member, a Moffitt family crest and a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Mr Moffitt’s friend Martin McMahon told mourners how he received a commemorative gift of a special pin from Fine Gael Sligo to mark the centenary of Michael Collins’ death this year.

His heartbroken friend described the ‘Big Fellow’ as a source of inspiration to Mr Moffit. He said the pain and suffering at the loss of Mr Moffit was indescribable.

In his Homely, family friend Fr Michael McManus said he struggled to find words of comfort for the family, but added: “Let’s not make the manner of his death be our lasting memory. Aidan was a character. He lived life to the full but always put his family and friends before his own needs”

Fr McManus said the love for his family was never more evident than in the care and attention he showed his mother, Kathleen.

“He had a strong faith and every Christmas and New Year’s Eve mother and son would visit Knock Shrine for the blessings of Our Lady,” he said.

Mr Moffit was laid to rest in Lisacul Cemetery with his father Tom and his brother Anthony.

Bishop Doran said Mr Snee, 58, devoted his working life to caring for the elderly and for people with intellectual disabilities.

He had been a porter and carer in Cregg House and St John’s Hospital.

“It is the kind of work that requires gentleness and patience. I join you all in giving thanks today for the gift of his life which was given so generously in the service of others,” Bishop Doran said.

Some of the symbols brought to the altar in memory of Mr Snee’s life included a family photo and a photo of his dog, Oskar, a coffee mug and his glasses.

In his homily, Fr Noel Rooney, Parish Priest at St Joseph’s Church in Ballytivnan, spoke of the sadness, grief, devastation, disbelief, and anger among the local community and beyond.

“Last week, Holy Week, was for Jesus a week of betrayal, agony, suffering and crucifixion. Agony, suffering and crucifixion continue to be an ongoing reality for Michael’s family, despite the immense outpouring of love from their extended family, their friends and their neighbours.The Easter promise of hope seems elusive

Fr Rooney said it was important not to allow the horror of Mr Snee’s death define his life.

He said he was a beautiful, kind and gentle person, always dapper and well presented.

Mr Snee’s sister Tina said her brother had aged gracefully and was like a fine wine. Oskar, his dog, was the love of his life.

Mr Snee was buried alongside his mother Phil in Sligo Cemetery.

A 22-year-old man has been charged with the murder of both men.

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