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Wife of murdered prison officer Adrian pays loving tribute to 'my darling Izzy'

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 22/03/2016

The funeral of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay at Woodvale Methodist Church, 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
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.
Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt and party colleague Danny Kennedy at the funeral for murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay arrives at Woodvale Methodist Church
The funeral of murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay at Woodvale Methodist Church, Belfast.
The coffin of prison officer Adrian Ismay arrives at Woodvale Methodist Church in north Belfast
A treasured photo of Adrian having a laugh with his daughter Tori that she posted online shortly after his death

The wife of a murdered prison officer has described how his death has left her with a broken heart.

Adrian Ismay died last Tuesday from injuries sustained in a dissident bomb attack in east Belfast 11 days earlier.

A funeral service will take place at noon today at Woodvale Methodist Church.

In a moving tribute to her "beloved husband", Sharon Ismay described the 52-year-old grandfather as "my darling Izzy".

A death notice, published in the Belfast Telegraph, states: "If I could have a lifetime wish, a dream that would come true. I would pray to God with all my heart for yesterday and you.

"A thousand words can't bring you back, I know because I tried.

"Neither will a thousand tears, I know because I cried.

"You left behind a broken heart but happy memories too, but I never wanted memories, I only wanted you."

Messages also appear from Mr Ismay's three daughters: Tori, Sarah and Samantha.

Tori's tribute states: "I have lost, heaven has gained, the most wonderful daddy this world contained."

She adds: "Love you daddy, sleep tight."

Samantha describes Mr Ismay as her "much-loved daddy", while Sarah states he was a "wonderful granda" to her children.

Mr Ismay had worked for the Northern Ireland Prison Service for 28 years. He trained other guards at Maghaberry high-security prison and was based at Hydebank Wood Young Offenders' Centre in Belfast.

He had been seriously injured when a bomb exploded under his van at Hillsborough Drive, off the Woodstock Road, on March 4.

He died 11 days later.

Police said a post-mortem examination showed he died as a "direct result of the injuries" of the bomb.

His funeral takes place at Woodvale Methodist Church at Cambrai Street. The service will be led by Rev Colin Duncan.

The Ismay family has asked for donations in lieu of flowers to be made to the Alzheimer's Society.

Because of the funeral, all domestic, professional and legal visits to Maghaberry, Hydebank Wood and Magilligan have been cancelled today.

Speaking last week, Ian Simpson from the Prison Service Benevolent Fund said the Ismay family had been left "devastated" by his death.

"We expected that he would make a full recovery in time," he said. "Tuesday's events were totally unexpected and totally devastated the family."

He said they had "a big sorrow in their heart".

"A wonderful husband, a loving father, a friendly, gentle grandfather has been taken out of all of our lives, but particularly his family, and that is going to be a massive hill for them to climb," Mr Simpson added.

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