Wreaths laid for 32 Ulster prison officers who lost lives
WREATHS have been laid in memory of Northern Ireland prison officers who lost their lives in the course of duty.
A total of 32 men and women were remembered during the service at the memorial garden at Hydebank Wood in South Belfast.
Victims include Adrian Ismay, 52, who died following a dissident republican booby trap bomb under his vehicle in East Belfast in 2016.
Also remembered is 35-year-old William Mcconnell, governor of HMP Maze who was shot dead by the Provisional IRA in 1984.
The first prison officer to be killed was Officer R Walker, 33, who was shot dead in 1942.
Agnes Wallace, 40, was the first female officer to be murdered. She died in 1979 following an attack by INLA terrorists. Ronnie Armour, director general of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, met a number of families of the officers during the annual event.
He said: “It is important that we continue to remember the service and sacrifice of prison staff who lost their lives serving the community.
“The annual service of remembrance serves as a reminder of the professionalism, commitment and dedication of governors, officers and support staff of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, past and present, in upholding and maintaining our justice system.”
The memorial garden was officially opened by the Princess Royal this year.
Mr Amour said: “It is a place of tranquillity and a permanent acknowledgement of the heavy price paid by the families of our murdered colleagues.”