Belfast bomb attack prison officer named

Adrian Ismay
Adrian Ismay
The scene of the bomb attack
The scene of the bomb attack

A 52-year-old prison officer who passed away today after a dissident republican bomb attack in Belfast on March 4, has been named as Adrian Ismay.

A dissident group calling itself the 'New IRA' claimed responsibility for the attack.

The father of three, who worked at Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre in South Belfast, was driving to work at around 7am on March 4 when the bomb under his car detonated on Hillsborough Drive, off the Woodstock Road.

Mr Ismay trained new recruit prison officers who were working at HMP Maghaberry.

His name had reportedly been placed on a list of potential targets following disputes over the treatment of Republican inmates.

First Minister Arleen Foster says she is devastated and had been texting the prison officer recently.



There have been reports that the victim had been at home recovering from his injuries, but was rushed to hospital earlier today with a suspected heart attack.

The republican terror group claimed in a statement that they used the explosive Semtex in the attack. 

South Down MLA John McAllister tweeted:


In a statement, the PSNI said: 

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

"He has been named as 52 year old Adrian Ismay of Hillsborough Drive, Belfast.

"Detective Chief Inspector Richard 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.' 

“One man has been charged with attempted murder and causing an explosion with intent to endanger life and the investigation is continuing. At this stage, we are working to establish the exact cause of Adrian’s death.

"Anyone who may have any information is asked to contact us on the non-emergency number 101 or on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."