15/03/2016

Prison Officer Injured In Bomb Attack Dies

A prison officer who was injured after a bomb went off under the van he was driving has died.

The incident happened in the Hillsborough Drive area in east Belfast on 04 March.

A group calling itself the New IRA claimed responsibility for the attack.

A man has appeared in court charged with attempted murder in connection with the incident.

In a joint statement Justice Minister David Ford MLA and NIPS Director General Sue McAllister said: "Adrian Ismay gave over 28 years of service to prisons in Northern Ireland and he was greatly respected by all those who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time."

The Ulster Unionist Party has expressed its deepest sympathy to the family of the Prison Officer.

East Belfast MLA Andy Allen said: "This is devastating news and my heartfelt sympathies are with the Prison Officer's family. We must ensure that all necessary support and assistance is given to the family at this difficult time.

"The people responsible for this despicable attack must be brought to justice.
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"I would again reiterate that the people responsible do not represent wider society. They cannot and will not be allowed to take this society back to the past."

Councillor Chris McGimpsey said: "The death of a prison officer injured on the Woodstock Road last week is a tragedy for his family and the whole community. Once again republicans have decided who should live and who should die. Clearly they have learnt nothing.

"My sympathy is with his family and friends. I would encourage anyone with any knowledge of this heinous crime to contact the police."

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney said: "First and foremost I want to express my sympathies to the family and friends of prison officer Adrian Ismay who has died following a recent bomb attack in east Belfast.

"This attack was wrong, it will achieve nothing, and was condemned by all sections of society.

"Those responsible for this attack, regardless of what they choose to call themselves, do not speak for or act in the name of the Irish people.

"Their actions serve no purpose whatsoever and will not advance any political aim.

"They will not derail the progress that has been made in the peace process and they need to realise that and end these actions immediately."

(CD)

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