Two held over murder of prison officer


Two men have appeared in courts on both sides of the Border in connection with the murder of prison officer David Black in Northern Ireland.

One defendant was accused of obtaining and bringing a car from the Republic, which was linked to the shooting dead of David Black (52) on the M1 motorway in Co Armagh on November 1st. The second man was separately charged in Dublin with IRA membership.

Damien Joseph McLaughlin (36) was allegedly linked by CCTV evidence and a registration plate trace by gardaí to a Toyota Camry moved north of the Border, Lisburn Magistrates’ Court heard. That happened the day before a car with the same registration mark and make was used in the high-speed shooting.

Mr McLaughlin was remanded in custody to reappear via video-link at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on January 4th.

At the non-jury Special Criminal Court Vincent Banks (44) from the Smithfield Gate apartments in the city was charged with IRA membership on December 18th. He was also accused of withholding information since October 10th relating to Mr Black’s murder.

Mr Justice Paul Butler remanded Banks in custody until tomorrow.