Closure of NI cemeteries should be 're-assessed'

The Workers’ Party are the latest political grouping to call for a rethink on the closure of cemeteries during the Covid-19 crisis.

Friday, 24th April 2020, 9:16 am
Updated Friday, 24th April 2020, 9:19 am
Polepatrick Cemetery in Magherafelt.

They said in a statement that there can be no doubt that many of the measures which have been put in place are having a positive and life saving effect.

“Keeping our distance from each other, washing our hands, staying at home and operating essential services and businesses only, has undoubtedly helped to reduce the levels of transmission and consequently save lives,” said a WP spokesperson.

“However, it is time to rethink the decision to close cemeteries. The risk of transmission means that placing limits on the number of close family members attending the burial or cremation must remain in force, but restrictions on access to cemeteries is an altogether different issue.

“The grieving process and remembrance of former family members and friends is an extremely important part of how we all come to terms with bereavement. It is a central part of our culture and also a very important part of the psychological process of coming to terms with loss.”

The spokesperson said the original decision may well have been taken as part of a blanket response to the management of public spaces and the control of the virus, but it can, and should, be re-assessed.

He added that people for the most part have responded responsibly to restrictions on social distancing.

--- A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to newsletter.co.uk

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Thank you