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tireless worker Northern Ireland prison officer dies after contracting Covid-19

The officer past away yesterday after a short battle with the disease

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A prison officer in HMP Maghaberry

A prison officer in HMP Maghaberry

A prison officer in HMP Maghaberry

A prison officer in Northern Ireland has died after contracting Covid-19.

The man, who has not been named, is the first prison officer in Northern Ireland to have died after contracting the virus.

Writing to prison staff on Friday morning, the director general of the Northern Ireland Prison Service said: "It was with a deep sense of sadness that I learned last night of the passing of one of our colleagues, after a short battle with Covid-19.

"He cared deeply about the service and he worked tirelessly over the years to make things better and safer."

Ronnie Armour said: "On behalf of the service I want to express our heartfelt sympathies to his family circle and to those colleagues who worked alongside him.

"Our service is the poorer for his passing and the circumstances of his death make our loss all the more painful. He will be long remembered."

More than 1,300 people work for the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

There have only been four confirmed cases of Covid-19 among the general prison population in Northern Ireland so far.

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