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Murder investigation launched in Co Armagh

  Stephen Barriskill (63) was found dead 
Connla Young

A MURDER investigation has been launched after a man was found dead in Co Armagh.

The victim has been named locally as Stephen Barriskill who was a member of a well known family in the area.

It is believed Mr Barriskill was shot on Tuesday night but his body was only discovered yesterday.

The murder took place at a property at Whitesides Hill, off the main route between Portadown and Tandragee.

Police last night confirmed a man has been arrested.

It is understood the suspect, who is from the local area, presented himself to police yesterday.

About three miles from the centre of Portadown, the murder scene was sealed off as forensic teams carried out an examination yesterday.

A PSNI spokesman last said: “Just after 12.07pm this afternoon, police responding to the report of an incident, located the body of a deceased male at a residential property in the Whitesides Hill area of Portadown.

"A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder."

Police said the investigation is at an "early stage" and appealed for anyone who was in the area from 8pm on Tuesday to contact them.

Mr Barriskill's murder is the second in the area in recent weeks.

An investigation was launched earlier this month after 23-year-old Jake Bailey-Sloan died after being assaulted outside licensed premises in the town.

Policing Board member and MLA Dolores Kelly described the latest murder as tragic.

"My thoughts go out to the family and friends of the man who was found dead and to the community in Whitesides Hill who will be shocked that this has happened within their community," she said.

"I would urge anyone who knows anything about this to come forward and help police with their investigation as soon as possible.

"I would also ask that police be given space to carry out a full investigation and identify exactly what took place."

Ms Kelly also voiced concern over an increase in violence in the area.

"I would implore people to stop the type of violent attacks that have resulted in a number of deaths across the north in recent weeks," she said.

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

Independent councillor Darryn Causby said his "thoughts and prayers" are with the murder victim's family.

"Knowing the quiet community it is, it's going to be a shock to them," he said.

DUP councillor Lavelle McIlwrath said it was a "scene of devastation and shock locally".

"It's a quiet rural community and it's the last thing you would expect in this community," he said.

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