Former RUC colleagues of Jimmy Nesbitt have paid tribute to a “highly respected” detective who was always humble despite such an enviable track record.
Vice-chairman of the NI Retired Police Association (RPOA) Roy Cairns said his passing on Monday morning was a sad loss to the close-knit group of ex-officers who worked together in that eventful era.
“Every so often we have a senior CID lunch and Jimmy was always there - about every three months and he was one of the gang.
“There is one coming up in September but unfortunately he won’t now be there.
“He wasn’t only a colleague, he was a good friend. His wife died a few years ago but he has two sons,” said Mr Cairns.
Over one weekend in his police district in the 1970s there were nine murders for DCI Nesbitt to investigate.
He was also well-known for his love of Crusaders FC and as a former golfer at the Royal Belfast club.
“He was a real character -there was no doubt about that. He used to play football in his younger days. He was always very active and played football for the RUC at a time,” Mr Cairns added.