Statement from Justice Minister – Death in Service of Prison Officer Adrian Ismay

Date published: 15 March 2016

Justice Minister David Ford today made a statement to the Assembly following the death of serving Prison Officer Adrian Ismay.

He said: “It is with the deepest sorrow that I am speaking to Members today following the death of serving Prison Officer Adrian Ismay. I know I speak for everyone in the Assembly when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, daughters and wider family circle as well as his colleagues and friends.

“Adrian’s death has come as a great shock to all of us. He was a husband, father and grandfather and it is in his family home where the pain of his loss will be felt the most. He was also hugely respected by his friends and colleagues in the Northern Ireland Prison Service where he gave over 28 years’ service.

“In addition to his dedicated work as a Prison Officer, Adrian was also actively involved in the community as a trainer in search and rescue and first aid. A remarkable example of his dedication to the Prison Service was shown when he attended a passing out ceremony for new recruits last Friday- just one week after he had been attacked.

“That courage couldn’t be more different from the cowardice of those responsible for planting a bomb under his van in the darkness of night. Whilst the police and other agencies are working to establish the exact cause of Adrian’s death, his bravery is in stark contrast to those who carried out this appalling attack.

“Those behind this callous attack once again showed an utter disregard for human life, not only for the life of someone who served the community but also his family and others living in the area. I know I speak for all members when I condemn the actions of those responsible for this heinous attack and fully support the police in their investigation. Those involved in carrying out this misguided attack and those who planned it should see the futility of their actions. They go against the democratic principles that the vast majority of people in this society support.

“I know that the police are looking for every piece of evidence to bring the perpetrators to justice and I would ask anyone with information to contact the police.

“Adrian Ismay served the entire community and whoever was behind this has nothing to offer anyone in Northern Ireland. Today this Assembly and the justice family stand side by side together, united in our sympathy for Adrian's family and in solidarity against those who want to drag this community back.”


Notes to editors: 

For all media queries, please contact the DOJ Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.


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