GUN ATTACK ON PRISON OFFICER IS NEW DISSIDENT GROUP’S FIRST KILLING
A NEW republican paramilitary group calling itself ‘ the IRA ‘ has admitted responsibility for the murder of David Black, claiming the killing was carried out because of ” torture and degradation ” of dissident prisoners at Maghaberry Prison. The group made no allegations about Mr Black. It’s statement immediately attracted political condemnation. The 52-year-old prison officer is the first person to be killed by the dissident group which formed in July with the merger of the Real IRA, north-west-based Republican Action Against Drugs and an independent republican unit based mainly in mid-Ulster. In a statement the group said it targeted Mr Black in ” direct response ” to tensions within the jail where he worked. The father-of-two died after his Audi car smashed into a ditch when it was raked with gunfire close to the M1 Lurgan turn-off on November 1st. Dublin republican leader Alan Ryan, who was murdered in September, was a member of the new group. Dissident republicans from the north attended his funeral. The getaway car used by Mr Black’s killers, a Toyota Camry with a Dublin registration, was found burnt out in Lurgan. The admission of responsibility comes as tributes were paid to Mr Black yesterday. After a Remembrance Sunday ceremony at Belfast City Hall, First Minister Peter Robinson said : ” [It] has been especially poignant as we think of David Black whose life was sadly taken. ” It reminds us that there are those who do not wish to see those dark days of conflict put behind us. Mr Black’s murder will only strengthen our resolve to seek a better and more peaceful future for all.” SDLP justice spokesman Alban Maginness said there was ” no justification for any violence, let alone murder ” and that tensions in Maghaberry could not be used as an excuse for the killing.
REPUBLICAN GROUP ADMITS CARRYING OUT M1 DRIVE-BY KILLING
In it’s statement the IRA linked the attack on Mr Black to an ongoing protest at Maghaberry Prison. More than 40 dissident republican prisoners are involved in a ‘ dirty ‘ and ‘ no-wash ‘ protest after they objected to being strip- searched by staff. Part of the dispute centres on claims by republicans that a deal reached in August 2010 has not been fully implemented by prison service chiefs, including the introduction of a body scanner which would do away with the need for strip searches. In a statement the group said : ” On Thursday, 1st November, 2012, an active service unit of the IRA executed prison guard David Black. ” While the IRA never takes this type of action lightly, the IRA has a responsibility to protect and defend republican POW’s. ” This action was in direct response to the torture and degradation of POW’s held in Maghaberry. ” The issues that led to the IRA taking action might have been avoided if his ‘ superiors ‘ had honoured the agreement they signed with prisoners in August 2010.”
In its statement the group did not rule out the possibility of more attacks against prison service staff including Prison Custody Officers ( PCOs ) Until September this year PCOs were used to control the movement of inmates in jails and between prisons and courts. Since September all recruits into the prison service have also been known as PCOs. Of the prison service chiefs the IRA statement said : ” Rather than showing the leadership necessary to resolve the protest the protest in Maghaberry they continue to play politics with the lives of republican POWs and indeed their own guards and PCOs. ” Similarly, the charade of hypocritical condemnation from the local political classes does nothing to resolve the issues created by their inactions.” SDLP justice spokesman Alban Maginness, said there was ” no justification for any violence, let alone murder”. ” David Black was an exemplary officer and someone who exercised his judgement and impartiality [ towards prisoners ], ” he said. Mr Maginness said tensions within Maghaberry ” ” could not in any way be used as an excuse ” for the killing. ” To justify his outrageous murder as emanating from disputes in [ the republican wing ] Roe House is totally unacceptable,” he said.
WITH MANY THANKS TO : CONNIA YOUNG, IRISH NEWS.
FACTIONS MERGED IN SUMMER
THE formation of a new dissident group styling itself the Irish Republican Army first emerged over the summer. The Real IRA, Derry-based Republican Action Against Drugs and the group responsible for murdering Constable Ronan Kerr in a car-bombing last year formally joined forces in June. The new group is thought to have several hundred members. News of the grouping led to fears of further attacks on police officers and other members of the security forces – fears which have since been realised. Murdered Dublin republican Alan Ryan, who was shot dead in the north of the capital in September, was a member of the new grouping. Ryan, a former Real IRA prisoner, was murdered just weeks after the new paramilitary organisation was formed. He was the first member to be killed. Gardai are investigating after six men in military clothing fired a volley of shots over Ryan’s coffin as it stood outside his home. At his funeral, prominent Lurgan republican Colin Duffy (44) gave the graveside oration, describing Ryan as ” a brave Irish republican and fearless IRA volunteer ” who was dedicated to ” fighting foreign interference in our country “. Duffy was arrested by detectives investigation the murder of prison officer David Black on November 1. He was later released without charge after a judge refused police permission to hold him and fellow Lurgan man Sean McVeigh (31) for questioning. Duffy told The Irish News he ” did not have any involvement in the offences for which I was arrested ” and plans to sue police.
WITH MANY THANKS TO : STAFF REPORTER, IRISH NEWS.
- Probe After Warder and Republican Inmate Hurt in Maghaberry Clash ! (fiannaiochta.wordpress.com)
- David Black: ‘new IRA’ group claims it murdered prison officer (guardian.co.uk)
- Dissident group says killed N.Irish prison officer (worldbulletin.net)
- Dissident group says killed Northern Irish prison officer (news.yahoo.com)
- Dissident group says killed Northern Irish prison officer (news.terra.com)
- David Black murder: Dissident republican Colin Duffy arrested (dailymail.co.uk)