Prominent Irish nationalist arrested over Northern Ireland shooting

Fri Nov 2, 2012 9:08pm GMT

By Ian Graham

BELFAST (Reuters) - An Irish nationalist acquitted earlier this year of the murder of two British soldiers in Northern Ireland was arrested on Friday in connection with the fatal shooting of a prison officer, a security source said.

The murder of David Black, 52, on Thursday was the first killing of a Northern Irish prison officer in almost 20 years and the fifth fatal attack on a member of the security establishment since the 1998 Good Friday peace deal.

The pact largely ended three decades of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland between Protestants loyal to British rule and mostly Roman Catholic nationalists who want to unite with the southern Irish republic.

Black, a father of two, was shot while driving his car in County Armagh. He worked at the top security Maghaberry Jail where militant nationalists have been protesting against their living conditions.

Three men have been arrested in connection with his shooting, police said.

Colin Duffy, 44, was picked up at his home in an early morning swoop in Lurgan, County Armagh, the source said, while a second 31-year-old man had been detained in Lurgan, where there is a strong pocket of militant nationalists.

A 29-year-old man was arrested south of the Irish border in the county of Leitrim later on Friday, police said.

Life-long Irish nationalist Duffy was acquitted in January of the murder of two British soldiers shot dead outside Massereene army barracks in Antrim by the Real IRA in 2009.   Continued...

Colin Duffy leaves Antrim Courthouse in Antrim January 20, 2012. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
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