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.

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