Police get extra 36 hours to quiz murder suspects

Police cordoned off the scene around the house in Finaghys Ardmore Avenue as a murder investigation began
Police cordoned off the scene around the house in Finaghys Ardmore Avenue as a murder investigation began

Police have been granted a further 36 hours to question two men about the murder of a 51-year-old woman in south Belfast.

Anne O’Neill was discovered seriously injured in the rear garden of house in Ardmore Avenue around 7am on Saturday, shortly after police received a report of a woman in distress.

Anne O'Neill died early on Saturday morning

Anne O'Neill died early on Saturday morning

Despite medical intervention by emergency services at the scene she died from her injuries, the PSNI said.

Two men, aged 23 and 27, were arrested at another address in south Belfast a short time later and questioned by police.

On Sunday, the PSNI said they had been granted more time to continue interviewing the suspects.

Police also urged anyone in the area who has CCTV around their premises to let detectives view their recordings.

Sinn Fein’s Mairtín O Muilleoir said he had spoken to residents in Ardmore Avenue who told him they were “woken by a woman’s screams”.

He said: “I got contacted by constituents who said they heard a woman screaming in the early morning, they responded to that.

“I’m told that later, a woman did come out of a house, that she had sustained head injuries, that paramedics did work on her but we know that since then, the lady has died.”

Mr O Muilleoir told the BBC that the murder had caused “real shock and distress in the area”.

He added: “This is an area which really sees no trouble, sees no incidents like this at all. People are very upset and, of course, their heart goes out to the victim.”

The Sinn Fein MLA also called on anyone who had relevant information about the murder “to work closely with the PSNI”.