Vincent Banks, 44, from Smithfield, Dublin was brought before the Irish Special Criminal Court in Dublin on Wednesday where he was charged in connection with the murder in November of Northern Ireland prison officer David Black.

Banks was charged with membership of an unlawful organization styling itself as the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on December 18th, 2012. Banks was also charged with withholding information in relation to the murder of David Black.

According to the Irish Times, Banks was accused of possessing information which he knew might be of material assistance in securing the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of another person for the murder of David Black, but failed to disclose the information to police.

Father-of-two David Black, 52, worked at the high security Maghaberry prison in County Antrim and was shot dead as he drove to work on a motorway near Lurgan in County Armagh on November 1. Dissident republicans claimed responsibility for his killing.

Detective Sergeant Marilyn Brosnan of the Special Detective Unit told State Solicitor Michael O’Donovan she formally arrested the accused shortly after 11AM on Wednesday in the reception area of Ballymun Garda station.

Brosnan said that she had explained to Banks the reason for his arrest in ordinary language, and that the accused replied 'not at this time' to the caution. Brosnan added that at the time of the arrest she believed that Banks had committed the offenses for which he was arrested.

Brosnan then confirmed that Banks, who appeared before the court wearing a blue-striped white polo shirt and jeans, said, 'I don’t believe so,' in reply to the charge.

There was no application for bail, however the counsel for the accused man, Siobhan Ni Chulachain, told the court it was anticipated one would be made.

Presiding judge Justice Paul Butler, sitting with Judge Margaret Heneghan and Judge William Hamill, remanded the accused man in custody to appear before the non-jury court today.


Funeral of prison guard David Black, murdered by the IRAStephen Barnes