Hundreds attend murdered prison officer David Black's funeral

Wednesday 07 November 2012 10.20
David Black was shot dead in Co Armagh last week
David Black was shot dead in Co Armagh last week

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of murdered prison officer David Black in Co Tyrone.

The married father-of-two was shot dead on the M1 motorway on his way to work at Maghaberry prison last week.

His coffin, draped in the Union flag, was carried to Molesworth Presbyterian Church in Cookstown by a bearer party of colleagues from the prison service.

Rev Tom Greer described Mr Black, 52, as a man of honour, principle and peace, the complete opposite of the murderous thugs and blood-thirsty criminals who took his life.

First Minister Peter Robinson, PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott and Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers were among those who attended.

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness did not attend, after the Black family said they did not wish to have any Sinn Féin representatives present.

Mr McGuinness said he respected the family's wishes.

A private family service was held in Mr Black's home before the church service.

A private burial took place at Kildress Parish Churchyard.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions said that between 1,500 and 2,000 people attended their vigil in Belfast City Hall in memory of Mr Black.

There were no speeches, and a piper played a number of laments.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, ICTU Assistant General Secretary Peter Bunting said it afforded its members and the people of Belfast the opportunity to express their sympathy with the Black family.

A 29-year-old man who was questioned by gardaí after being arrested in Co Leitrim in connection with the murder was released without charge yesterday afternoon.