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Dark deed of Adrian Ismay's killers won't drag us back to past, funeral told

By Ivan Little

Published 23/03/2016

PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2016
Vigil at Belfast City Hall for murdered prison officer Adrain Ismay this lunchtime. Mr Ismay was burried at the same time the vigil took place. He was murdered earlier this month when a group calling itself the New IRA planted a bomb under his van.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2016 Vigil at Belfast City Hall for murdered prison officer Adrain Ismay this lunchtime. Mr Ismay was burried at the same time the vigil took place. He was murdered earlier this month when a group calling itself the New IRA planted a bomb under his van.
Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 22/3/2016 Mandatory Credit - Picture by Justin Kernoghan Family members weep as close family and friends help to carry Adrian's coffin at his funeral in the Shankill area of Belfast - The funeral for prison officer Adrian Ismay who died following a dissident republican bomb attack took place in Belfast today. Mr Ismay, 52, was seriously injured after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast on 4 March. He was said to be recovering well, but died in hospital last Tuesday. A group calling itself the new IRA said it carried out the attack. A man has appeared in court charged with murder.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2016 Vigil at Belfast City Hall for murdered prison officer Adrain Ismay this lunchtime. Mr Ismay was burried at the same time the vigil took place. He was murdered earlier this month when a group calling itself the New IRA planted a bomb under his van.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2016 The funeral cortege for murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay arrives at Woodvale Methodist Church this morning. Mr Ismay died 11 days after being seriously injured in an under car bomb planted by a group calling itself the ÔNew IRAÕ on the 4th of March this year. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Tuesday 22nd March 2016 Adrian Ismay: Funeral for prison officer targeted in van bomb The funeral for prison officer Adrian Ismay who died following a dissident republican bomb attack. Among the mourners was Justice Minister David Ford, George Hamilton Chief Constable of the PSNI, Kate Carroll widow of the late Stephen Carroll, Theresa Villiers Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and First Minister Arlene Foster.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2016 Sharon (wife) is comforted with Family and Friends During The funeral cortege for murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay arrives at Woodvale Methodist Church this morning. Mr Ismay died 11 days after being seriously injured in an under car bomb planted by a group calling itself the ÔNew IRAÕ on the 4th of March this year. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2016 Vigil at Belfast City Hall for murdered prison officer Adrain Ismay this lunchtime. Mr Ismay was burried at the same time the vigil took place. He was murdered earlier this month when a group calling itself the New IRA planted a bomb under his van.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2016 Kate Carroll (widow of Stephen Carroll) During The funeral cortege for murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay arrives at Woodvale Methodist Church this morning. Mr Ismay died 11 days after being seriously injured in an under car bomb planted by a group calling itself the ÔNew IRAÕ on the 4th of March this year. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2016 The funeral cortege for murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay arrives at Woodvale Methodist Church this morning. Mr Ismay died 11 days after being seriously injured in an under car bomb planted by a group calling itself the ÔNew IRAÕ on the 4th of March this year. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2016 Justice Minister during The funeral cortege for murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay arrives at Woodvale Methodist Church this morning. Mr Ismay died 11 days after being seriously injured in an under car bomb planted by a group calling itself the ÔNew IRAÕ on the 4th of March this year. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2016 Family and Friends during The funeral cortege for murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay arrives at Woodvale Methodist Church this morning. Mr Ismay died 11 days after being seriously injured in an under car bomb planted by a group calling itself the ÔNew IRAÕ on the 4th of March this year. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
People attend a short vigil in Belfast city centre to remember murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay, whose funeral took place today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 22, 2016. Mr Ismay, a married father-of-three, died eleven days after sustaining serious leg injuries in an under-vehicle bombing. See PA story ULSTER Prison Vigil. Photo credit should read: Lesley-Anne McKeown/PA Wire
People attend a short vigil in Belfast city centre to remember murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay, whose funeral took place today.
Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford (centre) at Woodvale Methodist Church in north Belfast for the funeral of prison officer Adrian Ismay, who was murdered by dissident republicans. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 22, 2016. Mr Ismay, a married father-of-three, died eleven days after sustaining serious leg injuries in an under-vehicle bombing. See PA story ULSTER Prison. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
McBurney/Adrian Ismay Funeral of Prison Officer Adrian Ismay Pictured Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary for State Vernon Coaker after the funeral service Date: Tuesday 22 March 2015 Location: Woodstock Methodist Church, Belfast Credit: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX Copyright: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX Liam McBurney +44 7837 685767 +44 2890 660676 liammcburney@gmail.com
Northern Ireland Secretary for State Theresa Villers after the funeral service
Adrian's wife Sharon looks to the sky as the family walk behind the coffin.
A police officer stands guard near mourners as the funeral of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay takes place on March 22, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr Ismay was seriously injured after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast earlier this month. The 52 year old was thought to be recovering well from his injuries but died following a heart attack due to complications following the bomb attack. The new IRA, a dissident terrorist group have claimed responsibility for the murder. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 22: A piper leads the cortege as the funeral of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay takes place on March 22, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr Ismay was seriously injured after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast earlier this month. The 52 year old was thought to be recovering well from his injuries but died following a heart attack due to complications following the bomb attack. The new IRA, a dissident terrorist group have claimed responsibility for the murder. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 22: Sharon Ismay (2nd R) is comforted along with family members outside Woodvale Methodist church as the funeral of her husband, the murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay takes place on March 22, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr Ismay was seriously injured after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast earlier this month. The 52 year old was thought to be recovering well from his injuries but died following a heart attack due to complications following the bomb attack. The new IRA, a dissident terrorist group have claimed responsibility for the murder. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 22: A police officers salutes the hearse on arrival at Woodvale Methodist Church as the funeral of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay takes place on March 22, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr Ismay was seriously injured after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast earlier this month. The 52 year old was thought to be recovering well from his injuries but died following a heart attack due to complications following the bomb attack. The new IRA, a dissident terrorist group have claimed responsibility for the murder. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 22: Family members follow the remains of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay as his funeral takes place on March 22, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr Ismay was seriously injured after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast earlier this month. The 52 year old was thought to be recovering well from his injuries but died following a heart attack due to complications following the bomb attack. The new IRA, a dissident terrorist group have claimed responsibility for the murder. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 22: Family members comfort one another outside Woodvale Methodist church as the funeral of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay takes place on March 22, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr Ismay was seriously injured after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast earlier this month. The 52 year old was thought to be recovering well from his injuries but died following a heart attack due to complications following the bomb attack. The new IRA, a dissident terrorist group have claimed responsibility for the murder. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 22: Family members of Adrian Ismay comfort one another outside Woodvale Methodist church as the funeral of the murdered prison officer takes place on March 22, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr Ismay was seriously injured after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast earlier this month. The 52 year old was thought to be recovering well from his injuries but died following a heart attack due to complications following the bomb attack. The new IRA, a dissident terrorist group have claimed responsibility for the murder. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 22: A man displays the order of service as the funeral of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay takes place on March 22, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr Ismay was seriously injured after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast earlier this month. The 52 year old was thought to be recovering well from his injuries but died following a heart attack due to complications following the bomb attack. The new IRA, a dissident terrorist group have claimed responsibility for the murder. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2016 Sharon (wife) is comforted with Family and Friends During The funeral cortege for murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay arrives at Woodvale Methodist Church this morning. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
The funeral of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay at Woodvale Methodist Church, Belfast.
Adrian Ismay: Funeral for prison officer targeted in van bomb The funeral for prison officer Adrian Ismay who died following a dissident republican bomb attack. Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Tuesday 22nd March 2016
Adrian Ismay: Funeral for prison officer targeted in van bomb The funeral for prison officer Adrian Ismay who died following a dissident republican bomb attack. Among the mourners was Justice Minister David Ford, George Hamilton Chief Constable of the PSNI, Kate Carroll widow of the late Stephen Carroll, Theresa Villiers Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and First Minister Arlene Foster. Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Tuesday 22nd March 2016
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2016 A PSNI officer salutes The funeral cortege for murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay arrives at Woodvale Methodist Church this morning. Mr Ismay died 11 days after being seriously injured in an under car bomb planted by a group calling itself the ÔNew IRAÕ on the 4th of March this year. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
The funeral of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay at Woodvale Methodist Church, Belfast. Copyright: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Adrian Ismay: Funeral for prison officer targeted in van bomb The funeral for prison officer Adrian Ismay who died following a dissident republican bomb attack. Among the mourners was Justice Minister David Ford, George Hamilton Chief Constable of the PSNI, Kate Carroll widow of the late Stephen Carroll, Theresa Villiers Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and First Minister Arlene Foster. Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Tuesday 22nd March 2016
The funeral for prison officer Adrian Ismay who died following a dissident republican bomb attack is underway in Belfast.
The funeral for prison officer Adrian Ismay who died following a dissident republican bomb attack is underway in Belfast.
The funeral for prison officer Adrian Ismay who died following a dissident republican bomb attack is underway in Belfast.
The funeral of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay at Woodvale Methodist Church, Belfast.
PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton at the funeral for murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay arrives at Woodvale Methodist Church
Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt and party colleague Danny Kennedy at the funeral for murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay arrives at Woodvale Methodist Church
Belfast City Hall vigil for Adrian Ismay
Belfast City Hall vigil for Adrian Ismay
Belfast City Hall vigil for Adrian Ismay
Belfast City Hall vigil for Adrian Ismay
Belfast City Hall vigil for Adrian Ismay
Belfast City Hall vigil for Adrian Ismay
Belfast City Hall vigil for Adrian Ismay
Flowers laid in tribute of Adrian Ismay
Prison officer Adrian Ismay
Other tributes were also left
Adrian Ismay

The President of the Methodist Church has told dissident Republicans the overwhelming majority of people here utterly reject the "dark" men who murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay in east Belfast earlier this month.

Speaking yesterday at a funeral service in the Shankill Road area of the city, Rev Brian Anderson, who visited the Ismay family, told the killers: "We stand against what you have done. We want to a build an inclusive, peaceful society. And your contribution to it, we do not want."

First Minister Arlene Foster, Secretary of State Theresa Villiers and Chief Constable George Hamilton were among the 800 mourners, but Mr Ismay's family declined an offer from Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness to attend.

SDLP deputy leader Fearghal McKinney was inside Woodvale Methodist church, which was too small to accommodate all the mourners. Hundreds of people filled a nearby church hall and stood on the streets to hear the service relayed by loudspeakers.

They heard Mr Anderson condemn the killers of the English-born Falklands war veteran (below), known to his friends as Izzy. "In the darkest part of night, probably dressed in dark clothes, dark men did a dark, dark deed, bringing us to this place today, leading to the loss of Izzy, causing us to travel through the valley of the shadow of death," he said.

Mr Ismay who trained new recruits to the Prison Service, died 11 days after he was injured by a bomb under his van. The father-of-three was released from hospital but died suddenly after a blood clot triggered a heart attack.

Mr Anderson said Mr Ismay's family would not want anyone else to go through their ordeal. "It is incumbent on us as a society to ensure that those men who represent a time in our past don't get any fuel," he added.

He told how Mr Ismay, a Cumbrian who came to Northern Ireland in his time with the Royal Navy, had contributed much to society as a public servant and through his voluntary work as a search and rescue worker. "It was a life that overcame the darkness because it helped and assisted so many people in life," he said.

"We want to acknowledge the great work that our Prison Service does along with other services that keep the peace in our land."

Mr Ismay (52) was the second prison officer to be murdered by the New IRA. The family of David Black, who was shot dead as he travelled on the M1 motorway to his work in Maghaberry jail in 2012, were present at yesterday's funeral. Also there was Kate Carroll, whose husband Stephen was the first member of the PSNI to be murdered by dissidents, in 2009.

The minister of Woodvale Methodist Church, the Rev Colin Duncan, said the Prison Service was like a family. "We can see the grieving that has been across the organisation for the loss of a friend, colleague and a valued member of the service," he added. "The fact Izzy was targeted for being a prison officer must be a cause of deep grief and concern."

But he said the grief and concern were also being expressed more widely because Mr Ismay was targeted in a way that "we all hoped was a thing of the past".

Mr Duncan said he had been deeply touched by the comments of a woman who took part last week in a regular prayer meeting between Catholics and Protestants in the shadow of the north Belfast peace wall. "In a cry which seemed to come from the depths of her heart and her soul, she said, 'Please God do not let us go back to those days' and she just seemed to speak for a large part of our population," he explained.

Turning to Mr Ismay's family, the cleric said: "Yours has been a difficult journey, from the shock and the horror of the bombing to the hope in his recovery and to the unbelief in his death, so suddenly and so unexpectedly."

Mr Anderson revealed that after the blast which injured Mr Ismay, the former St John Ambulance volunteer had actually advised paramedics who went to his aid on what they should be doing.

After the funeral service Mr Ismay was taken to Roselawn for a private cremation.

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