Two men before courts over David Black murder

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Two men have been remanded in custody at separate courts today charged in relation to the murder of Northern Irish prison officer David Black.

Damien-Joseph McLaughlin of Dungannon in Co. Tyrone appeared before Lisburn Magistrates Court this afternoon while Vincent Banks of Smithfield Gate Apartments, Smithfield in Dublin 7 came before the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

Father-of-two David Black, who worked at the high security Maghaberry Jail in Co. Antrim was shot dead as he drove to work on a motorway near Lurgan in Co Armagh on November 1st last.

Dissident republicans claimed responsibility for the death of the 52-year-old.

Today 36 year-old Damien-Joseph McLaughlin was remanded in custody charged in connection with his murder and he will appear in court again on January 4th.

Charges of withholding information

Elsewhere 44-year-old Vincent Banks appeared before the Special Criminal Court in Dublin this afternoon also charged in connection with Mr. Black’s death.

He is facing charges of withholding information in relation to the murder and with membership of an illegal organisation.

Presiding judge Mr. Justice Paul Butler remanded Banks in custody to appear again before the non-jury court tomorrow.

Detective Sergeant Marilyn Brosnan, of the Special Detective Unit told State Solicitor Mr. Michael O’Donovan that she formally arrested the accused shortly after 11am this morning in the reception area of Ballymun Garda Station in Dublin 9.

She said that she explained to Mr. Banks the reason for his arrest in ordinary language and that the accused replied ‘not at this time’ to the caution.

Detective Sergeant Brosnan told Mr. O’Donovan that at the time of the arrest she believed that Mr. Banks had committed the offences for which he was arrested.

She said that she again met Mr. Banks in the Criminal Courts of Justice complex this afternoon, read over the charge and informed him he was to be brought before a sitting of the non-jury Special Criminal Court.

There was no application for bail, however counsel for the accused man – Ms. Siobhan Ni Chulachain BL – told the court it was anticipated one would be made.

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