Northern Ireland

David Black murder: Damien McLaughlin appears in court

Damien McLaughlin Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Damien McLaughlin had not been seen by police since November

A man charged in connection with the 2012 murder of a Northern Ireland prison officer has appeared in court after his arrest on Thursday.

Damien McLaughlin appeared at the High Court in Dublin, and has been remanded in custody until 20 March.

He was arrested and charged following the shooting dead of David Black in November 2012.

Mr McLaughlin was granted bail in May 2014 but had not been seen by police since last November.

Wearing a grey jumper and blue jeans, Mr McLaughlin, of Glenties Road in Belfast, said nothing during his Dublin High Court appearance.

He was arrested under a European Arrest Warrant by gardai as part of a joint intelligence-led operation with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

A Detective Sergeant from the Garda Special Branch told the court Mr McLaughlin was a "terrorist on the run" who was a flight risk and possibly armed, which justified the use of force as he was detained by police.

Another man, aged 59, and a woman, 47, were also arrested during the operation.

Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption David Black was shot dead as he drove to work at Maghaberry prison

Det Ch Supt Raymond Murray, from PSNI's Serious Crime Branch, said: "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."

The PSNI said senior detectives had contacted the Black family today to update them on developments.

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