The governor of Maghaberry prison, Stephen Davis, has died after a short illness.
Mr Davis was one of a small number of people to have served as governor of the Maze, Magilligan and Hydebank Wood, as well as the high security facility near Lisburn.
He joined the NI Prison Service as an assistant governor in September 1985 – initially serving as assistant governor of the old Crumlin Road jail.
The Head of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, Ronnie Armour has paid tribute to Mr Davis.
“Over the past few months, Stephen Davis has battled his illness with great courage and determination and his untimely death has been felt across the Prison Service,” he said.
“The Northern Ireland Prison Service was in Stephen Davis’s DNA. He cared passionately about the organisation, his colleagues and those for who he was responsible.
“He was immensely proud to be governor of Maghaberry and he served the entire community in Northern Ireland with professionalism and dedication throughout his career.
“Our service is the poorer for his passing but the richer for his part in it.”
Mr Armour added: “Of course Stephen was first and foremost a husband, father and a son. My thoughts and the thoughts of the entire Prison Service are with his wife, son and wider family circle at this very sad time.”