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Pic of the week: community's tribute to slain officer

By Kerry McKittrick

A bouquet of yellow flowers rests in tribute at the spot where a bomb exploded under a van being driven by prison officer Adrian Ismay. Mr Ismay died on Tuesday - 11 days after the blast.

His senseless death prompted a widespread outpouring of grief across Northern Ireland. The note on the flowers conveys the sorrow of all the residents in the east Belfast street where the attack took place.

Mr Ismay was critically injured just after 7am on March 4, when a bomb partially detonated under the van he was driving.

He was rushed to hospital and underwent several operations on his legs and neck. Dissident group the New IRA admitted responsibility for the attack.

Mr Ismay was discharged from hospital last Saturday, but tragically died of a heart attack on Tuesday.

A post-mortem examination determined that the heart attack was a result of a blood clot caused by the injuries to the 52-year-old's legs.

A man appeared in court yesterday charged with Mr Ismay's murder. Christopher Robinson was also charged with possessing an improvised explosive device with intent to endanger life.

Since news of his death was made public, tributes have poured in for Adrian Ismay.

The married father-of-three worked for the Northern Ireland Prison Service for 28 years and had recently taken on a new role, training recruits at Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre.

Mr Ismay had also volunteered with the St John Ambulance and was a senior officer in the Community Rescue Service.

A spokesperson for the CRS said that Mr Ismay had selflessly given up his free time to volunteer and had been involved with more than 200 searches.

It has been reported that, after the attack, Mr Ismay had planned to retire from the Prison Service and volunteer for the CRS full-time.

His family has been left devastated by his sudden death and Church and political leaders were united in revulsion at the killing.

Anyone with information about the bomb attack has been urged to come forward to police.

Belfast Telegraph


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