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Saturday 24 June 2017

Arrests over prison officer murder

Three arrests were carried out here and in the North as part of a joint intelligence-led operation between gardaí and the PSNI linked to the murder of David Black. (Stock image)
Three arrests were carried out here and in the North as part of a joint intelligence-led operation between gardaí and the PSNI linked to the murder of David Black. (Stock image)
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Garda Special Branch officers have arrested a man wanted in connection with the murder of a Northern Ireland prison officer more than four years ago.

Three arrests were carried out here and in the North as part of a joint intelligence-led operation between gardaí and the PSNI linked to the murder of David Black. The prison officer was shot dead when his car was ambushed by New IRA terrorists on the M1 motorway near Lurgan, Co Armagh, as he drove to work in Maghaberry jail in November 2012.

Two men, aged 40 and 59, were arrested yesterday by gardaí in Donegal while a 47-year-old woman was detained in Belfast.

The 40-year-old man was named last night by the PSNI as Damien McLaughlin, from Kilmascally Road, Ardboe, Co Tyrone. He had been charged previously with aiding and abetting murder as well as possession of items to be used in terrorism and being a member of an illegal organisation.

Mr McLaughlin was granted bail in May 2014 and had not been seen since last November. He was detained by gardaí under a European arrest warrant on a street at Ramelton, Co Donegal, and taken to Dublin. He is due to appear on the warrant before the High Court in Dublin this morning.

Gardaí arrested the 59-year-old man, who is from Derry, at the same time in Ramelton and he was held under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

Prison officer David Black. Photo: PA
Prison officer David Black. Photo: PA

He was being questioned last night at Letterkenny station.

Senior Garda officers said last night that the arrests followed an extensive intelligence gathering operation and said the Special Branch and other Garda units worked closely with their PSNI counterparts.

PSNI officers last night were questioning the female suspect at Musgrave serious crime suite.

Det Chief Supt Raymond Murray said senior PSNI officers contacted members of the Black family to inform them of the latest developments.

Irish Independent

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