Ulster Unionist Party leader, Mike Nesbitt, arrived in Dromore on Friday to open a new constituency office on behalf of local Ulster Unionist Councillors Carol Black and Olive Mercer.
Also among the VIPS in attendance were party Chairman, Lord Empey and MEP Jim Nicholson.
It was standing room only at number 21 Princes Street as, despite the risk of renewed downpour, friends and supporters of Councillors Black and Mercer turned out in strength to watch the official opening.
Mr Nesbitt used the occasion as a platform for delivering the message that whatever perceived problems had dogged the Ulster Unionists in recent times, “the wind is turning”.
Commending Councillors Black and Mercer for their initiative in re-establishing a visible UUP presence following the departure of former Ulster Unionist MLA Basil McCrea and the associated loss of what was the UUP office in Market Square, he added, “What gives a political party more of a lift than opening a new office?” Wishing the two every success, he said, “Let’s go forward from here with renewed faith.”
In a rousing speech, Mr Empey criticised Mr McCrea for jumping ship, complete with established local office, having campaigned and won election on an Ulster Unionist ticket.
Of the UUP, he said, “We’re on our way back; we’re fighting back and we’re fighting back on the ground.”
Noting the obvious goodwill in evidence, Mrs Mercer pledged that the Ulster Unionists would continue to fight for the wider Dromore area, while Ms Black hailed the crowded office as testament to the fact that “Ulster Unionists are still up where we belong”.