Murdered prison officer David Black was shot dead on November 1, 2012

Murdered prison officer David Black was shot dead on November 1, 2012

COLLEAGUES, friends and family will gather tomorrow for a private service in memory of murdered prison officer David Black.

The service is to be held on Friday, November 1 at the top security Maghaberry prison where the father-of-two worked.

Mourners will gather at the prison to remember Mr Black, from Cookstown, Co Tyrone, who was killed in a hail of automatic gunfire on the M1 exactly a year ago.

The 52-year-old – the first prison officer to be murdered in 20 years – was ambushed by dissident republicans as he drove his car towards the Co Antrim jail.

On the first anniversary of his murder, detectives from the PSNI’s south region Terrorist Investigation Unit (TIU) will be¬†issuing a fresh appeal for information.

TIU officers will be asking anyone with information about the murder to come forward.

A dissident republican terror gang had been monitoring Mr Black’s route to and from work in the weeks prior to his murder.

As he approached the ambush site near the Lurgan turn-off from the M1 around 7.30 am, a blue Dublin-registered Toyata Camry pulled up alongside and a gunman opened fire with an automatic weapon.

Mr Black’s car careered down a nearby embankment. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

At first it was believed he may have been involved in an accident.

But an examination of the car and his body revealed that he had been shot several times sparking a murder hunt.

The Toyota Camry was later found burned out in the Inglewood area of Lurgan.

Two suspects were later arrested for the murder, including leading dissident republican leader Colin Duffy.

However, police were refused permission by a court for an extension to his 48 hour detention as it refused to disclose intelligence material it said linked him to the murder.

Following his release, Duffy, who had cleared by a court over the murder of two soldiers at Massereene Barracks, said he was going to sue the PSNI for wrongful arrest and detention.

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