Adrian Ismay family left with 'big sorrow in their heart'
The family of the prison officer who died 11 days after being injured in a dissident republican bomb attack have been left with a "big sorrow in their heart".
Adrian Ismay, 52, was seriously hurt after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in Belfast on 4 March.
The police said that a post-mortem examination showed he died as a "direct result of the injuries" of the bomb.
Police have launched a murder inquiry into Mr Ismay's death.
Ian Simpson, from the Prison Service Benevolent Fund, said the family had been left "devastated" by his death.
"It's a very difficult time for Issy's family after the blast. We had helped him through the week, we expected that he would make a full recovery in time," he said.
"Tuesday's events were totally unexpected and totally devastated the family.
"The family have asked me to speak on their behalf to say that they have a big sorrow in their heart.
"A wonderful husband, a loving father, a friendly, gentle grandfather has been taken out of all of our lives, but particularly his family and that is going to be a massive hill for them to climb."
A dissident republican group, widely referred to as the new IRA, said it carried out the attack.
The organisation said Mr Ismay was targeted for training officers at Maghaberry Prison near Lisburn, County Antrim.
A man appeared in court on Saturday charged in connection with the bomb attack on Mr Ismay.
The PSNI have also repeated an appeal for information on two cars that police believe may have been used by the bombers - a red Citroen C3 and a silver Skoda Fabia.