COOKSTOWN, Northern Ireland — Thousands of mourners lined the main street of a central Northern Ireland town Tuesday to bid farewell to a prison officer slain by Irish Republican Army militants, the first killing of a guard in nearly two decades — and a reminder that the British territory’s peace is not yet complete.
David Black, 52, was shot several times from a passing car as he drove to work at Northern Ireland’s main prison. His car went off the road and landed in a ravine.
No group claimed responsibility, but police and politicians have pinned it to an IRA splinter group based in the nearby town of Lurgan. That faction has been blamed for dozens of shootings and bombings since the 2007 formation of Northern Ireland’s unity government — the central achievement of a two-decade peace process.