Derry City and Strabane District Council to waive burial fees for duration of coronavirus crisis

Decision is rooted in 'compassion', says local councillor

city cemetery

Derry City and Strabane District Council is to waive burial fees for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.

According to the council's website, it currently costs £190 to purchase a grave in one of the local cemeteries.

It then costs £168 for the first person to be buried in that grave, with lower subsequent charges for anyone else being buried in the same grave.

However, it has emerged that the council will be waiving these fees during the coronavirus pandemic.

The proposal was put forward by the council's Mayor, Michaela Boyle, and supported by other parties.

The decision has been welcome by Councillor Martin Reilly, the leader of the SDLP bloc on the council.

"Councillors from all parties recognise the difficulty and pain families will feel if they lose a loved one, in these tragic circumstances. Having to worry about the financial cost is the very last thing they need," said Cllr Reilly.

“This is rooted in compassion and recognises that many people have had their income reduced or removed altogether and cannot grieve in the usual way.

"Providing some comfort for them is the least we can do.” 

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy said: “These are very stressful times for anyone who loses a love one during this corona-virus pandemic with restrictions being placed  on funerals and wakes.

“This move will go some way to ease the financial burden on families in these very trying times."

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