Graffiti mocking prison officer’s murder removed

The offensive graffiti which appeared on a fence in Drumbeg. Picture: Twitter/Conor McCauley
The offensive graffiti which appeared on a fence in Drumbeg. Picture: Twitter/Conor McCauley

GRAFFITI which appeared on a fence in Drumbeg within hours of the killing of prison officer David Black has been removed, writes Gillian Halliday.

A message reading, ‘One down, more, more to come’ with ‘CIRA’ - referring to the Continuity IRA - was painted over by the Housing Executive last week.

A spokeswoman told the ‘Mail’ that the Executive had been contacted by a “number of sources” who wanted the offensive message removed.

She said: “We worked successfully along with the local community to arrange to have this offensive graffiti removed as quickly as possible.”

The incident comes as a new terrorist group, calling itself The IRA, claimed responsibility for the father of two’s death. Mr Black, who was aged 52, was the first person to be killed by the dissident group which formed in July with the merger of the Real IRA, Republican Action Against Drugs and a smaller independent republican faction based in mid-Ulster.

The Cookstown man, who worked in Maghaberry Prison, died when his Audi car careered into a ditch after he was ambushed by gunmen. The killers’ getaway car, a Toyota Camry displaying Dublin-registered plates, was recovered burnt out in the Inglewood area of Lurgan.

The portrayal of Inglewood in the media since the incident on November 7 has prompted angry residents to contact Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly to complain that the area was being depicted as a “staunch republican area”.

The SDLP representative said the portrayal of Inglewood was “inaccurate and inappropriate”. She said, “The voters in Inglewood are a mixed bunch - just like many other areas in Lurgan. The SDLP canvass in the area, we work in the area, we get votes in the area and we know that the label ‘staunchly republican’ does not accurately reflect the diversity of political opinion there.”

She added: “The fact that dissident republicans dumped their stolen car in the Inglewood area does not, in any shape or form, mean that the people there supported the murderous attack on David Black. They did not. Nationalists in Lurgan know only too well the pain of losing loved ones through violence.”