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It must be remembered when setting in context the complex and unique history of the NI Prison Service (NIPS). NIPS had a pivotal role to play in dealing with the consequences of the civil unrest in Northern Ireland which lasted for 30 years from 1969 onwards.

In that time 30 NIPS staff have been murdered because of their employment, and many others, including their families, have been permanently or seriously injured or been subject to prolonged physical, verbal and psychological intimidation and abuse.