Police widow Kate Carroll urges family of prison officer Adrian Ismay to 'hold their heads high'
The widow of the first PSNI officer murdered by paramilitaries has urged the family of a prison officer who died after he was targeted in a dissident republican bomb attack to "hold their heads up high".
She also voiced her disgust over reports republican prisoners gloated over the man's death.
Kate Carroll's husband Constable Stephen Carroll was shot dead after responding to an emergency call in Craigavon on March 9 2009.
Two men - Brendan McConville (40) and John Paul Wootton (20) - were later jailed for life for the murder.
Mrs Carroll told the Stephen Nolan show she was "fuming" and "disgusted" after a prison officer died in hospital on Tuesday morning eleven days after a dissident republican bomb exploded under his van in east Belfast.
Adrian Ismay a 52-year-old married father of three required surgery after an explosive device partially detonated under the van he was driving on Hillsborough Drive off the Woodstock Road just after 7am on Friday March 4 - causing a loud explosion.
The long-serving officer was based at Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre in south Belfast and worked as a trainer for new recruits to the NI Prison Service.
The man had undergone surgery and was understood to be recovering well.
But it is believed he was rushed back into hospital on Tuesday morning with a suspected heart attack and later died.
Mrs Carroll said: "My thoughts and prayers are with Mr Ismay's family this morning
"I'm absolutely disgusted that this has taken place again and I'm sure every other single decent person in this island as well is absolutely appalled.
"Who do these people really think they are trying to hold this country ransom?
"I've had enough of living in the fear of being caught up in the mayhem these individuals try to cause.
"They have no regard to life and it's apparent in what they did."
There have been reports that republican prisoners in Maghaberry celebrated the death of Mr Ismay when news broke in the prison.
Mrs Carroll said she would like to show them the pain caused to the families of their innocent victims.
She said: "If I had anything to do with it, I would bring those people in jail into a room full of relatives of innocent people that they have killed and let them see the pain they have caused
"I am absolutely fuming.
"Why don't they have the courage of their convictions and come out on the street instead of hiding in their rat sewers.
"I am so fuming that this has gone on so long and what has it gotten? Nothing."
She continued: "It's absolutely futile. What they are doing is ruining people's lives, destroying our country."
Mrs Carroll said Mr Ismay's family will be going through "absolute hell".
She said: "From what I can remember back to the day Stephen was killed, my head was everywhere. I didn't think it was happening, I was distraught, I was just going along in a daze
"These people achieve absolutely nothing only malicious damage to people's minds"
The widow said Mr Ismay's family should "keep their heads held high".
"Don't let these people drag you further into bitterness and hatred. Stand up and publicly denounce everything they stand for," she said.
Belfast Telegraph Digital