Saturday 23 September 2017

Gardaí arrest man wanted in connection with murder of Northern Irish prison officer

David Black was gunned down on a motorway on his way to work at Maghaberry high security prison in Co Antrim in November 2012.
David Black was gunned down on a motorway on his way to work at Maghaberry high security prison in Co Antrim in November 2012.
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

A man wanted in connection with the murder of prison officer David Black has been arrested.

Damien Joseph McLaughlin (40) from Co Tyrone, was arrested alongside another man in Co Donegal following a joint operation between the PSNI and gardaí.

Mr McLaughlin was due to stand trial last month on charges that include aiding and abetting David Black's murder but fled in November while on bail.

A European Arrest Warrant (EAW) was issued for his arrest.

Mr Black (52) was shot dead by dissident republicans as he drove along the M1 on his way to work at Maghaberry Prison in November 2012.

In a statement gardaí have confirmed that they have arrested both men in Donegal this afternoon. A 47-year-old woman was arrested in Belfast.

Damien Joseph McLaughlin, pictured being carried in a police car to an earlier hearing
Damien Joseph McLaughlin, pictured being carried in a police car to an earlier hearing

Officers from the Special Detective Unit detained a man in his 40s, named by the PSNI as Mr McLaughlin, under a European Arrest Warrant. A second man, in his late 50s, was detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, 1939. 

One man is detained at Letterkenny Garda Station and the other at a Garda Station in Dublin.

Mr McLaughlin is due to appear before the High Court in Dublin on foot of a EAW tomorrow morning.

Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray, from PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch, said: “Since his disappearance Police have carried out extensive enquiries regarding Mr McLaughlin’s whereabouts. Throughout this time the PSNI has been liaising closely with An Garda Siochana and today’s arrests demonstrate the benefits of joint working between police forces and other national partner agencies.

“As part of the operation a 59 year old man was also arrested in Donegal and a 47 year old woman was arrested in Belfast. Damien McLaughlin is scheduled to appear at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court tomorrow. The 59 year old man has been taken to Letterkenny police station for questioning and a 47 year old woman has been taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite for questioning.”

Senior PSNI detectives contacted the Black family today to update them on developments.

“Detectives involved in the case spoke with Mrs Black to inform her of Damien McLaughlin’s arrest,” added Detective Chief Superintendent Murray.

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