TENI Statement on the murder of two men in Co. Sligo

TENI Statement on the murder of two men in Co. Sligo

Transgender Equality Network Ireland [TENI] is appalled and deeply saddened by the horrific murders of two men in Sligo earlier this week. Supt. Aidan Glacken has stated: ‘”We are actively investigating as to whether there is any hate-related motive to these murders.’

These vicious attacks follow on from a third incident at Cleveragh Road in Sligo in the early hours of last Saturday, and the brutal attack on a young man in Dublin two weeks ago. All of the crimes have been perpetrated on members of the LGBTQI+ community.

Sara Phillips, Chair of the TENI Board, said: ‘Our thoughts are with the families, friends, and Communities of Aidan Moffat and Michael Snee. These horrific deaths highlight the urgent need for robust and comprehensive Hate Crime Legislation in Ireland as the only legislation that deals with hate-based offences is the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989. Minister Helen McEntee has vowed to bring forward the proposed hate crime bill ‘in a matter of weeks’. At TENI, we urge the Minister to prioritise this legislation and ensure that the entire LGBTI+ Community, and other marginalised communities, can begin to feel safe in their daily lives.

The Department of Justice recognises that hate crimes are ‘signal’ crimes, they send a message to the victim and to the wider community that they are not safe, not wanted or not equal to other members of society. In TENI, we frequently get calls from members of our Community, their families and their friends about the abuse that they experience, both overt and covert, in their daily lives. Our previous CEO, Éirénne Carroll, moved back to America in August 2021, after being advised by the Gardaí of a death threat.’

Nobody should have to have a safety protocol when they go out of their homes, yet many of the LGBTI+ community, and particularly trans people, have to do this as a matter of course. We deserve to feel safe. As we write this, we are responding to an email from the mother of a 19 year old trans woman, who is afraid to leave her home due to the level of transphobia she experiences. These are calls and emails we get every, single, day. Things need to change. Now.

The National LGBT helpline is available for emotional support on freephone 1800 929 539, 7 days a week from 6.30pm to 10pm Monday to Thursday, from 4pm to 10pm on Fridays, and from 4pm to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. The TENI line is 01 873 3575 and is open from 10am until 6pm, Monday to Friday, or email office@teni.ie. The Samaritans helpline is open 24 hours a day and can be contacted on 116 123. Pieta House can be contacted on 1800 247 247.

For further information please contact Lynne Tracey on 087 2442502 or at lynne@teni.ie