Prison officer injured in Northern Ireland bomb attack dies

A bomb exploded under his van as he drove to work

Northern Ireland, prison officer, Belfast, bomb, died,

The van (centre, top) under which a device exploded in east Belfast | Image: Lesley-Anne McKeown / PA Wire/Press Association Images

A prison officer who suffered leg injuries in a bomb attack in Belfast 11 days ago has died.

The prison officer, named as 52-year-old Adrian Ismay of Hillsborough Drive, Belfast, was injured on March 4th when a bomb exploded under his van as he drove to work in east Belfast.

A dissident republican group calling itself the New IRA claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Police say they will wait for medical evidence before deciding what direction their investigation will take.

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Campbell is leading the investigation, and says a post-mortem examination will take place to find out what caused Mr Ismay's death.

In a statement, the PSNI say: "We can confirm that the prison officer who was injured following the explosion of a device under his van on Friday 4th March has died in hospital this morning".

Detective Campbell said: "Adrian was the father of three grown-up daughters and had over 28 years service with the Prison Service".

"Our deepest sympathy is with Adrian’s family, friends and colleagues at this sad time", he added.

Speaking from Washington, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny says his thoughts and prayers are with Mr Ismay's family for their loss and trauma.

The British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted his sympathies:

While the Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said the attack was a callous and cowardly one on the entire community.

In a statement he offered his condolences to Mr Ismay's family, friends and colleagues - and added that everyone must "work together to reject those who wish to return Northern Ireland to the days when these heinous attacks were commonplace".

One man has been charged with attempted murder and causing an explosion with intent to endanger life, and the investigation is continuing.

Security services in the North are on heightened alert as it is feared that dissident republicans will attempt to carry out attacks in the lead up the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Speaking to Newstalk Lunchtime, Belfast-based security correspondent Alan Murray stated that at the time that the explosion occurred, the injuries sustained by the officer would not be life-threatening as it was believed that only part of the bomb had been detonated.