THE family of David Black have said they want justice, not revenge for his murder.
Speaking through a family spokesperson, Mr Black’s wife Yvonne, children Kyle and Kyra and the 52 year-old’s close family circle, appealed for anyone with information on his murder to come forward.
“But what the family have made clear, is that they do not want anyone taking this matter into their own hands,” said the family’s Minister Rev Tom Greer.
Rev Greer, who spoke to Mr Black’s brother-in-law Ivor on Friday, said the family have appealed to anyone with information on the loving dad-of-two’s murder, to come forward to police.
“He said that the family have made it clear - they want justice and have appealed for information to make arrests but what they do not want is revenge.”
52 year-old Mr Black died after gunfire opened on his Audi A4 on the M1 on Thursday morning.
The long-serving prison officer had been making his way to work at Maghaberry prison at around 7.30am when he was murdered.
His car veered off the road and came to stop in a nearby ditch.
Rev Greer, who has knew Mr Black and his family for sometime. He described the prison officer’s wife as “broken” but said the couple’s children were remaining strong.
“The family are still in a great sense of shock,” said the Minister.
“Yvonne, David’s wife is still very much broken and finding it difficult to cope. But his children, Kyle and Kyra are being very strong, and are baring up well, and that has been a huge help to their mother.
“David’s father has also been very strong, while his mother is very vulnerable. She suffers from dementia and one minute she is clear on what has happened and other times not. It’s been very difficult for her to comprehend.”
The Presbyterian Minister said Mr Black enjoyed his work as a prison officer and had worked at prisons throughout the province, from the height of the Troubles. He said that Mr Black and his colleagues were very much aware of the level of threat being put upon their lives but had hoped murders such as his on Thursday were a ‘thing of the past’.
“I think it is true to say that David, along with his colleagues, had strongly hoped this was a thing of the past.
“David and his colleagues were very much aware through intelligence that the threat was severe. He was careful of his security and aware of the threat but his murder shows the length that these gunmen went to make sure and breach that security.”
Rev Greer added: “Like many prison officers David would have felt the motorway would have been a safe area where you wouldn’t expect an ambush to happen. I do know that he was conscious of his security.”
Mr Black had worked in the Maze, Magilligan, and more recently had been involved in the processing of new prisoners coming into Maghaberry.
“He clearly enjoyed his work and was hoping to take early retirement in the New Year, but obviously that isn’t going to happen now.”
Rev Greer added: “My own personal contact with the community has been limited, but from speaking to councillors and representatives there is a strong feeling of revulsion against David’s killers.
“I did speak to Father Gerry Tremer, who on behalf of the Catholic and nationalist community outlined his horror to what has happened.
The feelings within the community has ranged from those of anger to those that are dismayed.”
“What no one wants to see is that the good relations in this community are broken down by what happened to David.”