Dromore remained in the spotlight yesterday as the world’s media swooped in to investigate the suspicious deaths of three women over 11 years.
Police are today expected to continue questioning local man 66-year-old Leslie Ross in relation to the incident.
He was arrested on Tuesday morning and is being held at Antrim PSNI station as part of a probe into the deaths of Michelle Bickerstaff, 47, Margaret Weise, 50, and Lily McKee, 52 in Dromore.
Mr Ross had been in relationships with all three women.
Yesterday a heavier wave of national journalists and television cameras were in evidence after the news made national headlines the day before.
Ever sharper suits, haircuts and equipment were in evidence as the world’s media zoomed in on the small Co Down market town.
Bigger and more expensive cars flashed by in all directions around the town, parked in rows outside the square.
But the pressure was already beginning to tell on some in the local community for a variety of reasons.
Whereas the day before there was some novelty and courtesy for the local media intrusion, yesterday some people’s patience was beginning to wear thin.
One shopkeeper offered a blank look, a tortured office worker barked and some neighbours of the man being questioned refused to engage.
“We have already had three reporters here today. We have nothing more to say,” she said as she waved her arms.
They had talked freely with many journalists the day before.
Repeated police appeals for information have dredged up many memories. The lives and deaths of the three women were yesterday on the lips of everyone in coffee shops, pubs and offices across the town.
Wild rumours and speculation were yesterday also circulating, going far beyond the stated scope of the police investigations.
Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said: “There are many unanswered questions and a lot of speculation about what may have happened. I would appeal for anyone who has a bit of knowledge about these suspicious deaths to come forward and share that with the police.”
But while some locals are reportedly apprehensive about getting involved, the police have redoubled their appeals in a bid to take their investigations forward.
On Tuesday detectives from the serious crime branch appealed “specifically to the community in Dromore who has any information about these deaths to contact them”.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Harkness said: “We are keen to speak with anyone who may have any information which could assist us and I would urge members of the community in Dromore to contact us.
“People may have been reluctant to come forward in the past but I can assure you that any information given to the Police will be treated in the utmost confidence.
“Your information could provide us with the vital link to enable us to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion.”
By yesterday morning police had held Mr Ross for 24 hours without bringing any criminal charges. So they applied for and were granted a further 36 hours to question him.