On behalf of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, I extend heartfelt sympathy to the family of Aidan Ismay, the prison officer who has died from injuries sustained when a booby-trap device exploded under his van in east Belfast on March 4.
Our hearts go out to his family.
They will be experiencing the dreadful pain of loss, and I know they will have the support of the extended family circle, Prison Service colleagues and the wider community.
He was doing an essential job for this entire community when dissident republicans singled him out.
The plain and simple truth is that there can never be any justification for such cowardly actions.
A man’s life is lost for a futile cause and a whole family is plunged into grief.
There are people who know where the components were sourced for this lethal device, how and where it was assembled and how the officer was targeted and I would appeal to them to help the police to bring the terrorists to justice.
The murder gang wanted to kill a member of the security forces to as their way of commemorating the Easter Rising, but all they’ve achieved is uniting all right thinking people in their utter revulsion and disgust at their mindless and savage action.
I would like to renew my appeal to my colleagues in the police, and related services, to exercise maximum vigilance at this most dangerous time.
Mark Lindsay, Chairman of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland