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Stephen Barriskill murder probe: Man remains in custody after fatal Portadown shooting

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Stephen Barriskill.

Stephen Barriskill.

Police probe: A forensic expert at the scene of the shooting on Wednesday. Credit: Declan Roughan

Police probe: A forensic expert at the scene of the shooting on Wednesday. Credit: Declan Roughan

The property at Whitesides Hill where the body was found

The property at Whitesides Hill where the body was found

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Stephen Barriskill.

A murder investigation has been launched after the discovery of a man’s body in Portadown on Wednesday.

The victim, named by the PSNI as Stephen Barriskill, was understood to have been shot dead in his home on Tuesday night.

Police learned of the incident after a man handed himself in on Wednesday.

The body was discovered in a house at Whitesides Hill. A suspect was subsequently arrested on suspicion of murder.

The victim was well-known in the area and had lived at the property for some time.

On Wednesday neighbours expressed shock as they observed a forensic team conduct its investigations.

Local independent councillor Darryn Causby described Whitesides Hill as a “quiet rural area”.

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“This is the second murder in the town in as many weeks. That is concerning,” Mr Causby added.

“We don’t know the circumstances, but obviously my thoughts are with the loved ones of the deceased individual because loss for anybody is never easy.”

Sinn Fein councillor Paul Duffy said there had been a number of deaths in “suspicious circumstances” in the past few weeks in the Portadown area and it was “very concerning”.

On Thursday, police made a renewed appeal for information in the case.

Detective Chief Inspector McGuinness said: “Just after 12.07pm on Wednesday afternoon (27 October), police responding to the report of an incident, located the body of Mr Barriskill at a residential property in the Whitesides Hill area of Portadown.

“A man arrested on suspicion of murder on Wednesday remains in custody.

“While our investigation is ongoing, I would again appeal to anyone who was in the Whitesides Hill area from 8pm on Tuesday 26 Oct, and who witnessed anything suspicious to contact Detectives on 101 quoting reference 773 of 27/10/21.

It is the fourth murder locally in the past fortnight and the second in Portadown in recent weeks.

Jake Bailey-Sloan (23) died following an incident in the town on October 17.

Separate murder investigations were also launched after midwife Katrina Rainey was discovered in a burning car in the early hours of October 12 at the family farm in Knockloughrim, between Magherafelt and Maghera.

And last week the body of former RUC officer Brian Coulter was discovered in his flat in Magherafelt.

Upper Bann SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly called for an end to the recent spate of violence.

“There can be no place for violence in our society and incidents like this deprive families of loved ones and leave lives irreparably damaged,” she said.


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