Yousef Palani, 22, appeared at a special sitting of Sligo District Court on Thursday to face charges in the separate murders of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee, as well as another assault charge.
Gardaí said earlier on Thursday that they had charged the man who was arrested in the early hours of Wednesday morning in Co Sligo.
Palani, who has an address in Co Sligo, is charged with the murder of Aidan Moffitt, 41, at Cartron Heights in Sligo on April 10. He is also charged with the murder of Michael Snee, 58, at City View Apartments in Sligo on April 12. He is additionally charged with assault causing serious harm to Anthony Burke, arising out of an incident in Sligo on April 9.
Moffitt's funeral is set to be held in Co Sligo this Monday, April 18, according to a notice on RIP.ie
Relatives of the two murder victims and the man who was assaulted sat in the courtroom for the short hearing just before 5 pm on Thursday evening.
The accused is reportedly unemployed and has requested legal aid.
Palani’s defense attorney requested an urgent psychiatric assessment of his client and asked that he be put on suicide watch. The judge granted the request and also directed that all necessary medical treatment be given to the accused.
No application for bail was made.
Palani has now been remanded into custody and is set to appear via video link before a sitting of Sligo District Court on April 21.
A crowd gathered near the courthouse on Thursday before and after the brief hearing. In this video, shared on Twitter by Stephen Murphy of Sky News, people can be heard shouting "scumbag!" at the gardai van:
In light of the recent homophobic attacks, a number of vigils have been organized around Ireland in the coming days:
- Sligo: Friday, April 15, 6 pm outside the Town Hall
- Belfast: Friday, April 15, 6 pm at City Hall
- Dublin: Friday, April 15, 6 pm at Dáil Éireann
- Galway / Loughrea: Friday, April 15, 5 pm The Long Point
- Kilkenny: Friday, April 15, 6:30 pm at Town Hall
- Kildare / Newbridge: Friday, April 15, 6 pm at Bandstand at Liffey Linear Park
- Laois / Portlaoise: Friday, April 15, 6 pm at County Hall Plaza
- Louth / Ardee: Friday, April 15 6 pm at Ardee Civic Offices
- Louth / Drougheda: Friday, April 15, 6 pm at The Tholsel
- Louth / Dundalk: Friday, April 15, 6 pm at Town Square
- Meath / Navan: Friday, April 15, 6 pm at Town Hall
- Offaly / Tullamore: Friday, April 15, 6 pm at O'Connor Square
- Tipperary / Clonmel: Friday, April 15, 7:30 pm at Main Guard, Main Street
- Westmeath / Mullingar: Friday, April 15, 6 pm at Town Park
- Wicklow / Bray: Friday, April 15, 5 pm at Bandstand
- Waterford: Friday, April 15, 6 pm at John Roberts Square
- Waterford / Dungarvan: Friday, April 15, 6 pm at Walton Park / Abbeyside
- Wexford: Friday, April 15, 7 pm on Wexford Quay
- Carlow: Saturday, April 16, 6:30 pm at Liberty Tree Fountain
- Donegal / Buncrana: Saturday, April 16, 2 pm at Amazing Grace Memorial
- Galway City: Saturday, April 16, 7 pm in Eyre Square
- Kildare / Maynooth: Saturday, April 16, 6 pm at Town Square
- Wicklow/ Blessington: Saturday, April 16, 6 pm at The Square
- Cork: Monday, April 18, 6 pm at Bishop Lucey Park
- Limerick: Monday, April 18, 6 pm in Arthur's Quay Park
- Kerry / Tralee: Monday, April 18, 7 pm at The Square
- Wicklow / Arklow: Monday, April 18, 6 pm at Bandstand on Main St