THE Prison Service is to investigate claims that dissident republican inmates housed in Maghaberry jail cheered the death of prison officer Adrian Ismay who who died on Tuesday from a heart attack 11 days after he was injured by a booby trap bomb.
Prison Service boss Sue McAllister said she will investigate claims some inmates celebrated his death by smoking cigars in the yard at top security jail.
Dozens of sentenced and remand dissident republican inmates are held in the jail’s Roe House.
They lit cigars and taunted prison officers about the death of Mr Ismay, a 52-year-old father of three.
Director of the NI Prison Service Sue McAllister told BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme: “I have not spoken to anybody who saw that for themselves yet.
“It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment on what goes on in a high-security prison, but I will be visiting Maghaberry today and I will be speaking to the governor about that claim.
“It’s important to remember that my colleagues who work in that part of Maghaberry face challenge and intimidation and threats on a daily basis and it’s to their enormous credit that they face that with quiet courage and professionalism.”