The widow of the murdered prison officer asks for information 10 years later

The widow of murdered prison officer David Black has launched a request for information to help catch his killers 10 years later and bring his family “some level of peace”.

A reward greater than £ 20,000 was offered for information leading to prosecution.

David Black, 52, a father of two from Cookstown, Co Tyrone, was killed in a shooting on November 1, 2012.

He was targeted on his way to work in Maghaberry Prison at around 7:30 am on the M1 motorway between Portadown and Lurgan.

A Republican organization calling itself the New IRA claimed to have committed the murder.

To date, investigators from the PSNI and Garda Siochana have made 12 arrests on both sides of the Irish border, carried out numerous searches of premises and vehicles and collected more than 1,000 statements.

But no one has yet been convicted of Mr. Black’s murder.

Mr. Black’s widow, Yvonne, has asked for the help and support of the wider community to bring those responsible to justice.

Mr Black’s widow, Yvonne, left, and their son Kyle, along with other family members, leave Belfast Crown Court (Niall Carson / PA)

“We want to appeal to those with information about the events leading up to David’s murder, information about what happened that fateful morning and the aftermath,” he said.

“Loyalties change and we call for information, however small, that could help build the puzzle, advance justice and accountability.

“We continue to try to build our lives in the best possible way, we have hidden our wounds and pain from the outside world in many ways, but we need the help and support of the wider community to give us the opportunity to have some level of peace, currently denied due to the lack of successful convictions against those responsible for David’s murder. “

Ms. Black continued: “It has been ten years since David was taken away from us; David was a good man, he was a wonderful husband and father and he worked very hard playing a supplier role.

“When he was murdered, our lives were shattered, everything we knew was taken from us.

David Black, center, with son Kyle, left, and daughter Kyra

David Black, center, with son Kyle, left, and daughter Kyra (Family Pantry / PA)

“We mourn it every day and there have been very difficult times over the years when we have tried to come to terms with the new life we ​​have all been forced to live.

“I have tried to move forward for our children, Kyle and Kyra, who have also helped me to lift myself up in times when life is difficult for me.

“My husband and the father of our children were not a danger or a threat to anyone and certainly he was not a legitimate target of anyone; he was highly respected throughout the community and indeed by his former colleagues and inmates alike.

“David lived his life according to the adage ‘respect breeds respect’ and this is how he led his life, personally and professionally in his job as a prison officer.”

Ms. Black said the loss of her husband left a “huge hole” in the family.

“You have a face for the world and you do it, because you have to move on, life is precious, but you realize that your life will never be the same,” she said.

“I remember in the beginning saying you drop something and it shatters into 1,000 pieces. You can lift it up and glue it all together and if you stand back far enough it looks the same, but it doesn’t. And I’ll never be the same again. My children will never be the same again. My family will never be the same because we were robbed by a very precious person who loved life and was about to retire.

“There are so many things that we had planned and none of them have been realized and we have been robbed and I have been robbed of my future in regards to all the plans we had made.”

The murder of Dave Black

Yvonne Black holds a photo of her late husband David (Liam McBurney / PA)

Ms. Black said the family wanted justice done.

“I suppose I’ve always been polite that right was right and wrong was wrong and murder is never and can never be justified,” she said.

“And if it can never be justified, then there must be consequences for it and there should be justice.”

Kenny Donaldson of the SEFF victim group said that Mr. Black was a “respected and hardworking family man who was doing the best he could to make this society a better place for everyone to live.”

David Black, left, with his wife Yvonne

David Black, left, with his wife Yvonne (Family Pantry / PA)

He said the prisoners had talked about their respect for Mr. Black.

“It is a huge regret that those responsible for David’s murder still have to be held accountable and that they remain individuals within the community who continue to hold information that would strengthen the case against the perpetrators,” he added.

Chief Investigative Inspector Anthony Kelly appealed to the communities of Cookstown and Lurgan to provide information on the investigation.

“Our investigation into David’s murder is very active,” he said.

“We believe there are members of the Lurgan and Cookstown communities who have information that will bring those responsible for David’s murder to justice.

Filming of David Black

Police officers revisit David Black’s murder scene on the M1 motorway one week after the crash in 2012 (Paul Faith / PA)

“David’s family deserves closure and even if it won’t bring him back, it will help bring those responsible to the courts. Time may have passed, but it’s not too late to do the right thing for David’s family.

“On Thursday 1 November 2012, David was shot dead while driving from his Cookstown home to work in Maghaberry Prison in his black Audi A4 along the highway between Portadown (junction 11) and Lurgan (junction 10). ).

“The dark blue Toyota Camry used in the murder was in Lurgan before the shooting on the evening of October 31st.

“The following morning, November 1, less than a mile from Lurgan’s exit on the M1, the dark blue Toyota Camry car with Republic of Ireland registration, 94 D 50997, pulled up to David Black and they were shot. numerous hits, killing him.

“The Toyota Camry was found burnt down in the Inglewood area of ​​Lurgan shortly thereafter at 7:45 am.

“I would appeal to the people in Cookstown to reflect on what they saw in the days and weeks before David’s murder. Have you seen any unusual activity around David’s home or places he frequented? If you have any information, please contact us. “

A Toyota Camry, the type of vehicle believed to be involved in the murder of Mr. Black

A Toyota Camry, the type of vehicle believed to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Black (PSNI / PA handout)

Mick Duthie, director of operations at the charity Crimestoppers offering the £ 20,000 reward for the information, added: ‘We hope that our charity’s award for anonymous information will somehow help secure justice for David. , his family and friends.

“With Crimestoppers, we don’t want to know who you are, just what you know.”

Anyone with information for the police that could help bring David’s killers to court can be provided to investigators at 101.

Alternatively, the information can be submitted anonymously via Crimestoppers to toll-free 0800 555 111 or online at

Mr Black was the first prison officer to be killed by paramilitaries in Northern Ireland in nearly 20 years.

His killing in 2012 resulted in the joint political condemnation of then DUP leader Peter Robinson, Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, then Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and members of the US administration.

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