Covid Memorial Day: Antrim and Newtownabbey considering ‘appropriate proposals’

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council is to consider proposals to mark Covid Memorial Day next March.

The initiative has been highlighted to the council by the March for Change group which has been campaigning for a public inquiry into the UK Government’s handling of the the Covid pandemic.

The campaigning organisation is seeking support for a memorial day to be held annually on March 23, the date of the start of the first UK lockdown.

Memorial Day will remember the lives lost and lives changed due to the Covid pandemic and recognise and thank all frontline, key workers and scientists who have “worked tirelessly” throughout.

Mayor Cllr Jim Montgomery plants Covid memorials.
Mayor Cllr Jim Montgomery plants Covid memorials.
Mayor Cllr Jim Montgomery plants Covid memorials.

A report to the borough council says that the initiative will also recognise that the pandemic response was “led by communities, local councils and devolved administrations”.

Antrim and Newtownabbey has agreed that “appropriate proposals” be brought to a future council meeting.

Earlier this week, Mayor Councillor Jim Montgomery unveiled two memorial flowerbeds in Antrim and Whiteabbey and a tree at Antrim Civic Centre and Mossley Mill in memory of residents who lost their lives to Covid.

The Mayor said: “As my term in office comes to a close, I am humbled to officially unveil these memorials. The pandemic robbed us of so much, including the opportunity to have a proper mourning.

“I hope that these memorials will bring some comfort to those who lost loved ones and will be a lasting way for both families and our community to reflect and remember.

“We have carefully selected oak trees for the memorials due to their longevity. Back in Roman times, the leaves from oak trees would have been used to heal various wounds and so they are a fitting choice for this tribute.”

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust board was was given a vaccine update on Thursday.

Owen Harkin, the Trust’s Director of Finance, told the meeting that 10,000 Covid vaccinations have taken place weekly in the Northern Trust’s mass vaccination centre and the roll-out is continuing at a “significant pace” although it has “reduced slightly in the last number of weeks because of a “slow down in the supply of Pfizer”.

The vaccination programme in Northern Ireland is now open to everyone over the age of 18 years.

Those awaiting an appointment are asked to be patient as additional slots for future weeks will be released every Thursday morning.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter


Click here to read: Antrim and Newtownabbey to join National Day of Reflection


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